Wild water: the state of the world's water 2017

Posted by
Climate change
Image: WaterAid/ Tom Greenwood

Across the world 663 million people still do not have access to water; the vast majority of them – over half a billion – live in rural areas.

In Wild water, WaterAid’s State of the World’s Water report, we explore how climate change – felt through extreme weather events such as cyclones, flooding and drought – could make the situation far worse for future generations.

Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and Mozambique are among the worst performing countries in the world for rural access to clean water. All three countries rank in the top 20% of nations worldwide most vulnerable to climate change and least ready to adapt, according to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index. India, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, has the greatest number of people living rurally without access to clean water.

While access to clean water has reached 2.6 billion more people since 1990, this progress is now under threat. If we do not address existing challenges to water security and ensure everyone, everywhere has reliable access to clean water by 2030, the threats posed by climate change could be devastating for us all.

"Wild water events can wipe out fragile infrastructure, dry up rivers, ponds and springs which are sometimes the main source of water for the poorest people, and contribute to the spread of waterborne diseases."