663 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water.1,2

2.4 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to a toilet.1,2

Twice the population of the United States lives without access to safe water.1,2

1/3 of the global population lives without access to a toilet.1,2

More people have a mobile phone than a toilet.1,3

A review of rural water system sustainability in eight countries in Africa, South Asia, and Central America found an average water project failure rate of 20 – 40 percent.4

Globally, 1/3 of all schools lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation.1

In low and middle-income countries, 1/3 of all healthcare facilities lack a safe water source.1

The water crisis is the #1 global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation), as announced by the World Economic Forum in January 2015. 5

Resource Links

Look for more facts in our collection of Water Resource Links.


  1. World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP). (2015) Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation, 2015 Update and MDG Assessment.
  2. United States Census Bureau Estimates. (2015). United States and World Population Clock.
  3. International Telecommunication Union (ITU). (2015). The World in 2015 ICT Facts and Figures.
  4. Lockwood and Smits. (2011). Supporting Rural Water Supply. Moving towards a Service Delivery Approach.
  5. World Economic Forum. (2015). Global Risks 2015 Report.