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There are currently more than 1000 million people in the world that lacks access to an easily accessible and safe water source, such as a connection to water mains or a protected well. Instead, water access is limited or available through unprotected sources. The target, under the Millennium Development Goals, is to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
According to Population Action International, based upon the UN medium population projections of 1998, more than 2.8 billion people in 48 countries will face water stress or water scarcity conditions by 2025. An area is experiencing water stress when annual water supplies drop below 1700 m3 per person. Water scarcity means that the annual water supply is below 1000 m3 per person. This graphic shows which African nations are expected to be experiencing water stress, and which are expected to be facing water scarcity, by the year 2025. It also includes a graphic which shows that as the world's population continues to grow, a higher proportion of the population will be affected by water stress and water scarcity.
The figure shows that most expenditure of R&D still takes place within the main OECD regions (with the United States the major location for foreign R&D). Developing countries are increasingly attracting R&D centres, however, although R&D investments remain relatively small from a global perspective. In summary:
Source: UIS Bulletin on Science and Technology Statistics, (2004): Issue No. 1, April 2004. A Decade of Investment in Research and Development (R&D): 1990-2000
Flooding in Paraguay
Source: Torsten Krekeler (BGR)
Result of the Tsunami 2004
Source: Torsten Krekeler (BGR)
Source: Stockholm International Water Institute, SIWI (2004-2005): "Making Water a Part of Economic Development: The Economic Benefits of Improved Water Management and Services". Stockholm. Sweden
The 'water footprint' of a country is defined as the volume of water needed for the production of goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the country. The water footprint of a country can be calculated with either the top-down approach or bottom-up approach. In the top-down approach, one calculates the water footprint as the sum of water use in the country, plus gross virtual water import into the country, minus gross virtual water export. In the bottom-up approach, we aggregate the individual water footprints of the inhabitants of a country to get the total water footprint of a country. Individual water footprints are calculated by multiplying all consumed goods and services with their respective virtual water content.
Based on the top-down approach, the global average water footprint is found to be 1240 m3/yr/cap. There are large differences between countries. In the USA the average water footprint is 2500 m3/cap/yr. In China the average water footprint is 700 m3/cap/yr.
Average national water footprint per capita (m3/cap/yr). Green means that the nations' water footprint is equal to or smaller than the global average. Countries with red have a water footprint beyond the global average. Period: 1997-2001.