Fifteen liters of water is the least that a person needs a day, according to United Nations. Each Spanish consumes about 300 liters, and in United States, 400. Meanwhile, a person living in an impoverished country does not reach the ten litres a day. Access to drinking water is a fundamental right of people and an essential element for life. United Nations explains that there are more than 260 river basins and transboundary lakes in the world that stretch across the territory of 145 countries, and cover half of the planet’s terrestrial surface. They are also large deposits of underground water.

Thus, there is enough fresh water to meet human needs. The world’s population depends only on one hundredth of 1% of the world’s water. The problem is in an inequitable distribution and the threat of pollution. Today, more than 1.1 billion people have no access to drinking water and 2,600 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation systems. In addition, each year they die about two and a half million people, mostly children, from diseases related to poor water conditions and half of the beds in hospitals around the world are occupied by people suffering from diseases transmitted by water, according to the UN. With measures as simple as teaching the importance of washing hands, cases of diarrhea in the world could be reduced in up to 45%. WHO has estimated at 700 million dollars a year potential productivity gains resulting from a reduction in diarrhea if, by 2015, the proportion of people were reduced by half without access to drinking water and sanitation.

In the countries of the North, the picture is very different. The grass of a golf course needs to be in good condition, the equivalent of the water that 20,000 people consume every day. To obtain a liter of gasoline, 10 liters of water are needed and to produce 900 kilos of paper almost 300,000 litres are required. Water consumption has increased six-fold in the last hundred years and the latest projections reveal that you for the year 2025 20% more water will be needed if consumption continues to grow at the same pace. The increase in the human and agricultural consumption should add the water pollution as a cause of its scarcity in the future. Environmental organizations and United Nations estimate that during the 20th century the half of the world’s wetlands, are lost either by having been dried to combat diseases or have been converted to agricultural or urban land. Our main source of renewable fresh water has been lost. Turn the tap off when we wash our teeth, either load the washing machine and the dishwasher, take a shower instead of bathing are small gestures that we can all do to avoid wasting a good of that life depends. In addition, should our Governments require laws more harsh and strict with those who pollute rivers and lakes. Citizens should sue that the international agreements against the pollution of waters compliance with. Governments and international agencies have to seek solutions and global cooperation on water resources for that water does not become a source of conflict in the future. Analysts and civil society organizations warn that the wars of the future already not be waged by the territory or energy resources, but by water, source of life. Ana Munoz alvarez journalist original author and source of the article.