Jim Meehan

Troubled Water

WASHINGTON, DC– By the time you finish reading this article, at least five children will have died because of diseases borne by dirty water. Indeed, there is no greater threat to humanity’s well-being than the ongoing water crisis, which is worsening as pollution and climate change, combined with accelerating growth in human population – forecast by the United Nations to reach 9.3 billion by 2050 – fuel a widening gap between supply and demand.

Water scarcity is largely the result of inadequate sanitation and a lack of necessary infrastructure to take water from rivers and aquifers. And it is estimated that, by 2025, half of the world’s people will not have enough water to meet their needs.

According to the World Health Organization, water-related diseases cause more than 3.4 million deaths annually – mostly children. One billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water, and more than two billion lack adequate sanitation.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in


Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.