An individual’s basic water needs

  • A human being needs approximately 3 litres of water a day for drinking.
  • Per capita consumption is approximately 130 litres - for drinking, taking a shower or a bath, cooking, washing clothes, washing dishes and for heating.
  • On average, one human being consumes 625m³ of water annually.
  • A human is made up of approximately 60% water.
  • A human can survive for up to 40 days without food, but no longer than 4 days without water.
  • According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), 5 million people die annually as a result of drinking contaminated water.
  • In 25 years up to 6 billion people will suffer from poor hygiene because of a shortage of water.

In the global perspective

However, global water reserves are limited, added to which, according to UNO estimates, the world’s population is set to increase from approximately 6.6 billion today to 9.2 billion by 2050. Due to the increasing average per capita consumption of water, currently 625m³ per annum, water consumption will also grow disproportionately.

Globally, more than one billion people have no access to clean drinking water. In 25 years up to 6 billion people will be experiencing water shortages because of poor hygiene. Even Europe’s natural water resources are being put under ever-increasing stress. Water stress arises when the amount of water used exceeds availability. In Austria, only < 5% of the total renewable water supply is extracted annually – we therefore live in a veritable water paradise. By contrast, a growing number of countries is becoming partially or completely under water stress as illustrated below.