World Water Statistics

  • The total volume of water on Earth is about 1.4 billion km3. The total volume of freshwater resources is around 35 million km3, or approximately 2.5 percent of the total water volume.

    Source: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • Of these total freshwater resources, approximately 24 million km3 or 70 percent is in the form of ice and permanent snow cover in the Antarctic and Arctic mountainous regions.

    Source: UNEP

  • Approximately 30 percent of the world’s freshwater is stored underground in the form of groundwater (shallow and deep groundwater basins up to 2 000 metres, soil moisture, swamp water and permafrost). This constitutes about 97 percent of the total freshwater that is potentially available for human use.

    Source: UNEP

  • Freshwater lakes and rivers contain an estimated 105 000 km3 or approximately 0.3 percent of the world’s freshwater.

    Source: UNEP

  • The Earth’s atmosphere contains approximately 13,000 km3 of water.

    Source: World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

  • The total usable freshwater supply for ecosystems and humans is about 200 000 km3 of water – less than 1 percent of all freshwater resources.

    Source: UNEP


Developing World Water Information

A Global Crisis

  • Water is at the heart of a daily crisis faced by 1,000,000,000 of the worlds most vulnerable people.  It is a crisis that threatens lives and utterly destroys human life on a devastating scale.

Water and Poverty

  • In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, 40,000,000,000 hours of labour goes to carrying water over long distances.  Time that could be spent at school – providing income – building healthy community.

Water and Health

  • One half of the world’s hospital beds at any given time are occupied by patients suffering from water related diseases.

Water and Education

  • 443,000,000 school days a year are missed due to water related diseases.

Water and Women

  • Many women spend 15 to 20 hours per week fetching water, walking up to 7+ miles in dry season.


How LWF Can Support

Water and wastewater issues continue to be one of the largest hurdles humanitarian NGO’s face when trying to perform their work.  LWF desires to be a resource and support to Christ centered Christian NGO’s.  From water well drilling or rehabilitation work, basic filtration systems or complex water treatment solutions – we will strive to fulfill this mandate for these organizations.