While the world's population tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources has grown six-fold. Within the next fifty years, the world population will increase by another 40 to 50%. This population growth - coupled with industrialization and urbanization - will result in an increasing demand for water and will have serious consequences on the environment.
Already there is more waste water generated and dispersed today than at any other time in the history of our planet: more than one out of six people lack access to safe drinking water, namely 1.1 billion people, and more than two out of six lack adequate sanitation, namely 2.6 billion people (Estimation for 2002, by the WHO/UNICEF JMP, 2004) and in addition to this 3900 children die every day from water borne diseases (WHO 2004). One must know that these figures represent only people with very poor conditions. In reality, these figures should be much higher.