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Number of the day: One billion

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One billion: The number of people who lack access to clean water -- around one-fifth of the world's population, according to U.N. data.

  • Around 74 percent of water taken from rivers, lakes and wetlands is absorbed by agriculture. Industry accounts for 18 percent of demand.
  • Some 30 to 40 percent of water is lost in many places due to leaking pipes and canals and water-tapping.
  • Up to $30 billion will need to spent in addition to current spending to meet the U.N.'s goal of halving the number of people without access to clean water by 2015.
  • The amount of water needed for crop production is likely to rise by 60 to 90 percent by 2050.
  • Diarrhoea, the main water-borne disease killed 1.8 million people in 2002, almost all of them children under five-years-old.
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    The U.N. aims to halve the number of people without access to clean water by 2015.

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