Water is a limited and increasingly scarce resource. Out of the world’s water reserves, only around three percent are available to humans as usable fresh water supply. If the hydrological cycle would not constantly renew these resources, that amount would be used up quickly. However, quality and availability of water is currently subject to drastic change because of population growth, changing consumption patterns and climate change.
At present, more than 30 countries on earth are in danger of acute water shortage. 80 percent of all illness in poorer countries go back to contaminated water supplies. To raise awareness of this situation, the United Nations launched an initiative in 1993 to annually commemorate the World Water Day on 22 March.
Sustainable water supply for all is the 6th of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The overarching goal of “Clean, accessible water and sanitary facilities for all” comprises sustainable management of waters, the equitable reconciliation of interests, the observance of access to safe water and sanitation as a human right and the conservation of self-supporting water resources for the future.