- 22 March 2013 | Environment
The World Water Day is celebrated on the 22nd May 2013, with over 780 million not having access to improved sources of drinking water and 2.5 billion people living without improved sanitation.
By 2025, water withdrawals should increase by 50 percent in developing countries and by 18 percent in developed countries. Water for irrigation and food production constitutes one of the greatest pressures on freshwater resources.
An estimated 148 states share a basin with one or several countries, which is a potential source of conflict, as actions upstream have impacts on downstream countries.
The Danube, for example, is shared by 19 countries, and the Nile River by 11. Water over‐extraction, diversion, pollution, scarcity and the neglect of existing agreements are often at the roots of water tensions.
Africa has about one-third of the world’s major international water basins – basins larger than 100,000 km2. Virtually all sub-Saharan African countries, and Egypt, share at least one international water basin.
85% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet. Six to eight million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.