6 Things You Didn't Know About Water

Why the world's water crisis should make you rethink what you drink


Everyone may be thinking more about their H20 this World Water Day, a day designated by the U.N. to facilitate the conversation about the world water crisis — but there are tons of things to know about water all year round. While we may be curious to know what's in our bottled water (or even what's in those weird flavored waters that have flooded the market), it's easy to ignore the difficulties of finding clean water across the globe. 

Some more facts about water consumed worldwide: 

• Of the water available on the planet, only 3 percent is fresh water; 97 percent of the Earth's water is saltwater. 

• One in six people worldwide (or 894 million) don't have access to "improved," or clean, water sources.

• From the nonprofit charity:water: "Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war"; that includes diseases like diarrhea and dysentery, which particularly affect children. 

• Three-thousand children less than 5 years of age die every day from diarrhea and other water-related illnesses, according to the U.N.

• 37 percent of the world's population doesn't have access to toilets, a huge nod to sanitation around the world. 

• There are more mobile phones on Earth than clean toilets, no joke; as Businessweek reports, "6 billion mobile phones, according to the International Telecommunication Union, while 1.2 billion of the planet’s 7 billion people lack clean drinking water and 2.4 billion aren’t connected to wastewater systems." 

Fortunately, there's much being done to solve the world's water crisis — click ahead to find seven charities dedicated to bringing clean water to those who need it.  (And if you want to learn more, Matt Damon can tell you all about diarrhea — and educate you on the world's water system, below.) 


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