Essential. Dwindling. Lifeline. Limited! Many of us take water for granted, but for about 1.2 billion people in the world, water is the most primal of the many struggles that life throws at them. To get a perspective of the kind of scarcity that a sixth of the world faces, consider these facts: A five-minute shower uses approximately as much water as a slum-dweller receives in the entire day! A single flush of the toilet uses 8 Litre water; a typical person from the west African country of Gambia uses just 4.5L of water daily. It takes 2 gallons of water to brush your teeth.More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in the developing world. The recommended daily water consumption, as given by the indubitable water.org, for cleaning, cooking, sanitation and other household needs is about 50L per person per day. However, in third-world countries facing severe problems of access to water and sanitation, the average per-person usage of water drops down to a shocking 6L. And this isn't just a few million people, either; it is estimated that this segment of the world consists of over a billion people. However, as millions and millions suffer in developing countries such as our own, the problem is almost inexistant in the developed countries. It is estimated that in countries such as the US, an average person uses a whopping 500L of water per day. Problems such as these are not due to a scarcity of water, as is often claimed. Rather, it is a problem of access. If there were more water pumps and other water-related devices per community, the situation would be suitably alleviated. In addition, we can also train the rural youth to be entrepreneurial: perhaps those with particularly high business acumen would be able to sell water at decent prices to their fellow villagers.
How much water does a shower take?