It's World Water Day, so here are 10 facts to consider and some ways you can make a difference.
Ten percent of the world’s population live without access to safe water.
More than 1,400 children die a day from water-related diseases.
Around the world, women spend 200 million hours a day carrying water.
Every American uses 7,500 liters (1,981 gallons) of water a day, with most of that going to produce the food they consume.
One liter (.26 gallons) of water is needed to irrigate one calorie’s worth of food.
It takes 15,000 liters (3,962 gallons) of water to produce two steaks.
Agriculture accounts for 70 percent of water withdrawal worldwide.
By 2050, the agriculture sector will need to produce 60 percent more food globally than current rates.
Droughts in the United States in 2012 affected 80 percent of farms and ranches, with crop losses of more than $20 billion.
It takes 91 liters (24 gallons) of water to create 500 grams (17.6 ounces) of plastic.
What you can do:
Conserve water at home by taking shorter showers, investing in a low-flow toilet and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving.
Plant low-water species in your yard.
Buy a rain barrel to collect rainwater to use for watering the lawn or garden.
Run your washer or dishwasher only when they are full, which can save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month per household.
Buy recycled paper products, because they take less water to produce.
Have a vegetarian meal from time to time, since the ingredients take less water to produce than a burger, pork chop or chicken sandwich.
Consider donating to an organization such as Water.org, WaterAid or Food & Water Watch.
Contact your federal legislators and urge them to support a dedicated Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation.
Sources: UNESCO, UN Water, Water for Food, wateruseitwisely.com, WaterAid America, Water.org.