Improvements in water resource management and in access to water and sanitation include essential to the elimination of social and economic injustice. "No one shall be left behind the Commission is convinced that "water will become", given the central importance and the many advantages of access to water.
Since the 1980s, global water consumption has risen by about 1 percent per year due to population growth, socio-economic development and changing consumption patterns. It is estimated that global water demand will continue to grow at a similar rate until 2050. This cumulative increase of 20 to 30 percent compared to current water consumption is primarily due to rising demand from industry and households. More than two billion people live in countries with high drought stress or water shortages, and about four billion people experience severe water shortages at least one month per year. The degree of stress will continue to rise in view of the growing demand for water and the increasing effects of climate change.
Three out of ten people have no access to safe (i.e. clean and permanently readily available) drinking water. Almost half of the people who drink water from unprotected sources live in sub-Saharan Africa. Six out of ten people do not have access to safe sanitation, and one out of nine do their emergency outdoors. As a global average, these figures conceal considerable differences between and within continents, countries, municipalities and even urban districts.