The amount of water people use is directly related to how easy it is for them to obtain and how affordable it is. Affluent lifestyles make heavy demands on water.
In the developing world, 1 in 5 people lacks access to clean water – even the suggested minimum of 20 litres per day. Yet in Europe the average water use is 200 litres per person per day, 400+ litres in the USA and aound 200 litres in Australia*.
Communities living in poverty are denied clean water for many reasons. The nearest water source may be a long way from where they live, there may not be pipes to carry the water to them and they have no money to pay for bringing the water closer to where it’s needed. Urban slum dwellers pay some of the world’s highest prices for their water and in many cases, they pay more than people in wealthier countries.
Safe water and sanitation are essential factors in alleviating extreme poverty as targeted by the Millennium Development Goals.