One billion and 200 million people in the world lack access to clean water and 2.4 billion do not have enough water to meet sanitation needs: a shortage that costs 3.4 billion lives every year. These are the most dramatic figures that were presented at the World Water Day celebrations. It is a catastrophe that mainly affects the South of the world, but which also affects Europe: according to UN estimates published yesterday in Geneva, one in seven Europeans does not have access to drinking water and adequate sanitation.
Only when one is involved in ecological disasters of vast proportions does one understand how important this “humble” as much precious good is for humanity. Man uses water in a thousand moments of the day: from the morning as soon as he gets up to wash, to when he cooks, or when he is thirsty to quench his thirst.
A part of the water is lost due to wrong agricultural choices, another part is sucked up by the black holes in the network. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe estimates that up to 60 percent of the drinking water in Moscow is lost in the course of distribution before reaching the consumer due to the aging of the infrastructure. In Berlin, the percentage is 5 percent. In Southern Italy, peaks of over 50 percent are reached.
According to data from Legambiente, in 1975 the loss of water volume was 21 percent, today the dispersion has reached 40 percent against a European average of just 13 percent. The disaster finds its peak in the South where 78 percent of the population has an insufficient availability of water: not for the lack of aqueducts, but for their mismanagement.