Water in Developing Countries

Before Mike and Kirk Douglas and teams of volunteers pulled their Lone Star drill into villages in Central America to dig wells, the lack of clean water caused a host of problems. Here’s a glimpse at the world’s water situation and the benefit of access to clean, safe water.

  • The average North American uses more than 100 gallons of water daily, while the average person in a developing country uses about 2.6 gallons for drinking, washing and cooking.
  • About 5,000 children die daily from diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. That amounts to 1.8 million children each year.
  • Water-related disease is the second biggest killer of children worldwide, behind acute respiratory infections, such as tuberculosis.
  • Across the world, 783 million people do not have access to safe water.
  • On any given day, half of the population in developing countries suffers from one or more of the main diseases associated with inadequate water and sanitation.
  • Diarrheal diseases reduce by more than 40 percent simply by washing hands with clean soap and water.

Statistics courtesy of United Nations Development Programme, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council,United Nations Children’s Fund, World Health Organization