Enough for survival, enough for health
Two thirds of our bodies’ weight and nine tenths of its volume is water. That is why water is essential for life. People can survive for up to two months without food, but die within three days without water.
- A person needs about 5 litres of water each day for cooking and drinking.
- But the World Bank estimates that a further 25-45 litres are needed for each person to stay clean and healthy.
In many places the family’s water must be fetched each day by women or children.
The most a woman can carry in comfort is 15 litres, each litre weighing one kilogram.
If she carries only enough water for her family (husband, mother, five children) to survive each day, she would need to fetch about 40 litres.
But to keep them all clean and healthy she would need to fetch 200 litres of water every day.
This, is why the amount of water consumed depends largely on whether it has to be carried to the house.