Growing demand and aging infrastructure are creating a "perfect storm" that is threatening the world's water supply. Population growth and rapid urbanization has led to an increase in home and industry water use. As a result, aging pipes, treatment plants and dams are under enormous strain. We can no longer afford to lose nearly 1.7 trillion gallons from water distribution systems each year.
The Growing Global Problem of Water Scarcity
Safe drinking water is a precious asset. Although 70 percent of the world's surface is covered by water, only one percent of the total water resources on earth are available for human use. Today, that one percent is under threat as a result of population growth, urbanization and crumbling infrastructure.
Water Infrasctructure: An Unseen Crisis
Efficient water use depends on working, modern infrastructure, but leaking water collection and distribution systems and inadequate wastewater treatment continue to plague municipalities in both developed and developing nations. Modern, efficient water infrastructure is crucial to meet the needs of rapidly expanding populations, particularly in the world's urban areas.
America's Crumbling Water Infrastructure
When a bridge collapses or the power goes out, people notice. But the steady deterioration of our water systems is underground and largely ignored. Most of our pipes are 50 to 100 years old, and were built to support much smaller populations. At least three states– South Dakota, Alaska and Pennsylvania – still use water mains made of wood. Every two minutes, a water main in America breaks. In a year's time, this adds up to nearly 2 trillion of gallons of clean water lost from water distribution systems each year.
Mandate to Conserve: America's Large Water Footprint
Americans waste a lot of water - daily activities such as long showers, running half empty dishwashers and lawn watering are just a few examples. A typical U.S. home uses approximately 400 gallons of water each day. The good news is that with a just a few simple lifestyle changes – like fixing leaky faucets and installing high efficiency toilets – we can considerably reduce our global water footprint.