Today is World Water Day, and here at Enlighly we like our water almost as much as we like our statistics. We thought we’d give you some facts that will really make a splash on your perception of this precious resource:


1. Water helps empower women

2According to The Water Project reducing the distance from the water source from 30min to 15min increased girl’s school attendance by 12%


2. Investing in water pays off handsomely!

whoAccording to the peeps at the World Health Organization, investment in infrastructure related to water and its sanitation really is worth the buck.

1$ may yield economic returns of between 200% and 3,300% when invested in water


3. Water treatment is a huge opportunity

% of untreated wastewater
% of new energy for treatment

Today, up to 90% of wastewater in developing countries flows untreated into rivers, lakes and highly productive coastal zones, threatening health, food, security and access to safe drinking and bathing water. The energy demanded for water treatment is predicted to increase by 44% by 2030.


4. Pollution has already taken a huge toll

Between 1970 and 2000, populations of freshwater species declined by 55%


5. Fighting drought has made some countries way richer

When both Malawi and Brazil managed to reduce their droughts by 50%, they saw their Per Capita GDP increase by 20% and 7% respectively.

Percentage increase in per capita GDP

That is the equivalent of Brazil adding one New Zealand to their their economy!



6. Almost 1/2 of Earth’s terrestrial surface is covered by international river basins


Transboundary basins

Percentage of the world's terrestrial surface covered by international basins

Or more precisely, Transboundary River Basins. International law dictates that the countries that share a basin collaborate in the management and protection of its resources. Europe and Africa have the most of these international basins (68 and 64 each).

7. The three 70% to watch

70% of water use goes to agriculture

70% global food demand increase by 2050

70% of people live in areas that are not water stressed, so 30% have to deal with scarcity

If the majority of water goes to agriculture, and agriculture is going to need to produce a lot more food in the coming years, even though a lot of people already live in water-stressed areas… you do the math!


8. Water can have a tremendous human impact

These percentages indicate the reduction in water-related deaths that could be accomplished by addressing each of those factors isolatedly, imagine the impact of the three together!

Clean water
Percentage of death reduction thanks to each factor


9. The earth used to contain x4 as much water as it does today

Many studies speculate that water on earth came bound in asteroids and comets known as planetesimals.



10. Our consumption varies dramatically by age or geography

Hover your mouse over the icons to see some patterns:

water use
Thirstier as babies
Children in the first 6 months of life consume seven times as much water per pound as the average American adult.
Agriculture or leisure?
 40% of freshwater withdrawals in the United States are used for agriculture. This is 65% in China. Freshwater withdrawals for agriculture exceed 90% in many countries: Cambodia 94%, Pakistan 94%, Vietnam 95%, Madagascar 97%, Iran 92%, Ecuador 92%


From 95% to 60% water
Your body is between 60% and 70% water. This changes at different times of your life: a human foetus is around 95% water for the first months, getting to 77% water at birth. In a 70kg person, there are 42 litres of water.
The average pool takes 22,000 gallons of water to fill. A swimming pool naturally loses about 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters) a month to evaporation.



  1. The Global Water Partnership
  2. UN Water Agency
  3. UN Conference on Trade and Development
  4. The Water Project, Inc.
  5. Franks, Felix. Water, a Comprehensive Treatise. Plenum Press 1972
  6. Bay County, FL website