Water: liquid gold | Photo: Walter-Wilhelm/Creative Commons

World Water Day is marked on 22 March every year. And there's so much we need to do to save and defend the liquid gold.

Water is part of our lives. In developing countries, we never miss water, but that doesn't mean we have shown total respect for the natural resource. We must learn how to improve our daily practices.

Unfortunately, the world's poorest regions are still struggling to get enough water to survive. We need water to drink, but we also need water for basic hygiene needs and sanitation.

The universal access to clean water is, therefore, the ultimate challenge of humanity. Let's take a look at why water is a critical issue in our planet:

1. Water is health: clean hands can save your life;
2. More water is used to manufacture a car than to fill a swimming pool;
3. To produce two steaks you need 15,000 liters of water;
4. Everyday women spend millions of hours carrying water;
5. The human body is made of 50-65% water;
6. Twenty liters of water per capita per day will take care of basic hygiene needs and basic food hygiene, according to the World Health Organization;
7. Up to 748 million people do not have access to an improved source of drinking water;
8. Up to 2.5 billion do not use an improved sanitation facility;
9. The return on investment of attaining universal access to improved sanitation has been estimated at 5.5 to 1;
10. To cover every person worldwide with safe water, and sanitation is estimated to cost US$107 billion a year over a five-year period;
11. Global water demand for manufacturing is expected to increase by 400% from 2000 to 2050;
12. Worldwide hydropower accounts for 16% of global electricity production;
13. Each American uses 7,500 liters of water per day - mostly for food;
14. One liter of water is needed to irrigate one calorie food;
15. Irrigation takes up to 90% of water withdrawn in some developing countries;
16. Producing one kilo of rice, for example, requires about 3,500 liters of water, while one kilo of beef some 15,000 liters;
17. Ten liters of water are used to make one sheet of paper;
18. Ninety-one liters are used to make 500 grams of plastic;
19. Agriculture is the largest user of water, accounting for 70% of total withdrawal;
20. Nine million people are without water access in developed countries;
21. More than 840,000 people die from a water-related disease each year;
22. America's demand for bottled water uses more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year;
23. About 95 percent of the water entering our homes goes down the drain;
24. More than 25 percent of drinkable water you use in your home is used to flush the toilets;
25. One dollar can provide clean water for a child in the developing world for an entire year;