the world's most abundant resource
is also the scarcest.
Water. It's the fundamental building block of life. Not only does it make up most of the human form—up to 60 percent of an adult human body—it also covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface. Every living organism on our planet depends on water for life. But even though it's the most plentiful resource on Earth, only a tiny amount—less than 1 percent—is usable.
Even though freshwater is such an incredibly tiny percentage of the world's water, there is enough of this renewable resource to satisfy the water needs of the 7 billion people on our planet.
But freshwater resources are unevenly distributed and large part is not even easily accessible. For example, Iceland has 1,600,000 liters per person per day but Kuwait has only 56 liters per person per day.
Currently, 48 countries—one third of the world’s countries—experience water stress due to the uneven distribution of water resources. Water stress occurs if the available water reaches below 4600 liters per person per day. In 2025, two thirds of the world's population will experience water stress. Currently, 1 in 10 people— approximately 663 million individuals—lack access to safe, clean water. And 1 in 3 people—approximately 2.4 billion individuals—lack access to toilet facilities. (Water Org, 2017).
However, extremely high levels of water stress don’t necessarily mean that a country will fall victim to scarcity. Armed with the right information, countries facing extremely high stress can implement management and conservation strategies to secure their water supplies.