Why on Earth does water matter?

By Moree Lambeth, Lead Content Creator

Originally published by Global Heroes in April 2023. Updated with facts and stats in March 2024.

On April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day. Rooted in the passions and motivations of a group of thoughtful, environmentally conscious world-changers of the 1960’s, Earth Day is a global celebration that demands an elevated mindfulness of our planet. On this day, we uphold and bring awareness to Earth’s fragile, necessary resources like water. As global champions of universal access to safe water, allow us to explain why on earth, water matters. 

Here are five reasons why on earth water matters: 

  • Water connects every aspect of life. It underpins the viability of every living thing. Safe, fresh water is critical for consumption, sanitation, agriculture, livestock, and developing and sustaining the ecosystems on which our lives and the lives of all living things depend. 
  • Water is necessary every day. People need water every day. People around the world each need at least 5 gallons of water per day for drinking, cooking, bathing and hygiene. This is​ over 15 trillion gallons per year. And about two-thirds of the world’s population will face at least one month of water shortages by 2050.
  • Water protects and saves lives. 115 million people depend on surface water, like a river, to meet their basic needs and 2.2 billion people lack access to safe water. These issues, in addition to the fact that 2.3 billion people globally don’t have access to soap and water to wash their hands at home, can lead to deadly diseases. More than 1 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases that could be prevented with access to safe water.
  • Water helps break the cycle of poverty. Without access to water at home, women and children around the world spend 200 million combined hours a day collecting it. With lasting access to safe water at home, women, children, and their families have the time and health to learn, earn, and break the cycle of poverty. Once basic household water needs are met, lasting access to safe water at home can provide direct income from selling water to others and secondary income-generating opportunities. 
  • Water impacts our economy. The impact of climate change on the world’s water will impact our global economy. As a result of water-related losses in agriculture, health, income, and property, some regions of the world could see their gross domestic product rates decline by as much as 6% by 2050.
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Water matters to the earth and all it holds, and it is why on Earth Day and every day, Water.org remains dedicated to making safe water and sanitation solutions accessible and sustainable for everyone, everywhere. There are eight billion people on Earth, and right now 1 in 4 of them lack access to safe water. Through Water.org’s financial approach, families who lack safe water at home can get affordable access to locally appropriate and often climate-conscious safe water and sanitation solutions that support climate resiliency. To date, we’ve helped change the lives of more than 63 million people.

Water is the best investment the world can make to reduce disease, improve the global economy, and preserve and protect life. On Earth Day, give to increase access to a critical resource for our planet and everything that lives on it—give the gift of safe water.

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