Water consumption per person
About 70 percent of the planet’s surface is covered with water. Without it, life on earth would be impossible. Yet, less than one percent of the planet’s total water resources can be classified as accessible freshwater resources. Hence, although water is virtually abundant, as much as two-thirds of the global population may live in regions with limited access to freshwater resources by 2050, as the world’s population is predicted to grow to reach 11.2 billion people by 2100. While population levels are expected to increase at the fastest rate in emerging regions, water shortages will also be felt in industrialized countries - including the United States - where droughts and other weather-related catastrophes are set to become more frequent over the coming decades.
By 2050, industrial demand for water is expected to put enormous pressure on freshwater accessibility, thus shortening the amount of clean water available for agricultural and domestic uses. Since water is becoming increasingly scarce, the amount of water that is currently consumed per person in countries such as the United States can no longer be deemed acceptable. It is estimated that each American used about 475 liters of drinking water daily in 2010. The U.S. is ranked among the leading water guzzlers worldwide. In order to prevent severe droughts in water-stressed areas today and in the future, a more efficient use of water is essential.