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How can we conserve water?

Children collecting fresh water in MalawiChildren collecting fresh water in MalawiOnly about 3% of the total amount of water on our planet is fresh water. The rest is salty seawater. A supply of clean, fresh water is vital for drinking, washing, farming and industry. Because of increasing population, water pollution, drought and the overuse of our water supply, a global water shortage is likely to occur during the 21st century. How can we conserve our water supply for the future?

What do we use water for?

Irrigated crop fields in ArizonaIrrigated crop fields in ArizonaAround 70% of the world’s fresh water supply is used in farming. Water is used to irrigate crops and feed livestock. Industry uses 20%. This includes power stations, food processing and cleaning. Use in the home, including drinking, toilet flushing, washing, cooking and gardening, takes up the remaining 10%.

Of the world’s 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to a mobile phone, while only 4.5 billion have access to a working toilet.

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