In Australia, average water use is around 180 litres per person per day. In Europe, it's 200 litres, while in the USA each person's daily consumption can reach a staggering 400 litres.*
One in 5 people in the developing world struggle each day to find 20 litres of clean water.
Around the world, the amount of water people use is directly related to how easy it is for them to obtain and how affordable it is.
In 2009, 900 million people living in poverty are without clean water. There are many reasons: the nearest water source may be too far from where they live, there may not be pipes to carry water to them or they may not be able to afford to pay for bringing the water closer to where it’s needed.
The consequences of being forced to use unsafe water are dire: constant ill health, high death rates and stunted economic growth. Deep inequalities based on wealth and gender trap families in a cycle of poverty they cannot escape.
People living in urban poverty are paying some of the world’s highest prices. In the slums and low-income settlements of Jakarta, Manila and Nairobi, families sometimes pay 5 to 10 times more for their water than the higher income areas of their own cities.
They also pay more than people in wealthier countries. People living in the slums of Manila in the Philippines or Accra in Ghana pay more for their water than residents of New York, London or Rome.
Access to clean water is a human right for every man, woman and child, regardless of their economic circumstances or where they live. It's also a crucial factor in alleviating abject poverty.
* Source: http://www.wateraid.org/international/what_we_do/statistics/default.asp