About 70 percent of the earth is water, but only 2.5 percent of that is freshwater. Of the freshwater, 68.9 percent is in the form of glaciers and snow cover, 30.8 percent is groundwater, and about 0.3 percent is in lakes and rivers.
Under international human rights laws, water is protected as a human right. In the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, water is not explicitly mentioned as a human right. It was, however, implied through other human rights, such as the right to life, right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to health.
But many people in developing countries, and people living in rural areas of developed countries (including many First Nations communities) do not take safe drinking water for granted. They understand the relationship that exists between safe drinking water and good health, because they have experienced waterborne disease firsthand.