Population Growth

World population growth
1950: 2.6 billion people
2019: 7.7 billion people
2030: 8.5 billion people

Source fact text: From an estimated 7.7 billion people worldwide in 2019, the medium-variant projection indicates that the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.9 billion in 2100.
Source: United Nations: World Population Prospects: The 2019 Revision

Access to safe water

$2.1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe water 

Source text: 2.1 billion people lack water that is accessible on premises, available when needed and free from contamination. 844 million people still lack even a basic water service.
Sources: United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 – Report 2018

Increasing water consumption

20-30% greater worldwide water demand until 2050

Source text: Global water demand is expected to continue increasing at a similar rate until 2050, accounting for an increase of 20 to 30% above the current level of water use, mainly due to rising demand in the industrial and domestic sectors.
Sources: The United Nations world water development report 2019: leaving no one behind

Shortfall of water supply

40% shortfall between global demand and supply of water by 2030

Source text: By 2030, the world will face a 40% shortfall between demand and supply of water.
Source: UNWD Report 2018

Water loss

30% of water worldwide is lost due to leaky pipes. In cities, it’s even higher.

Source text: Globally an average of 30% of all pumped water never reaches the tap. In cities the average is even higher and reaches 60%. The water is lost due to both leakages and theft. A few examples of Non-revenue water (NRW) pr. country are: United Kingdom: 21%, Mexico: 40%, United States: 20%, Sweden: 40%, Liberia: 49%, Armenia: 89%, China: 21% and Venezuela: 62%. 
Find the full country list in appendix 1.
Source: R. Liemberger and A. Wyatt 

Ageing water infrastructure costs

$200 billion a year is needed to replace ageing pipe networks in industrial countries

Source text: The total costs of replacing ageing water supply and sanitation infrastructure in industrial countries may be as high as USD 200 billion a year.
Source: UNESCO


Lack of sanitation

40% of the world population lack adequate sanitation – that’s 2.6 billion people!

Source text: 2.6 billion people, 40% of the world population, half the developing world lack even a simple improved latrine
Source: UNESCO-IHE, Institute for Water Education


80% of all wastewater worldwide returns to the environment without proper treatment

Source text: On average, over 80% of the world’s wastewater is released to the environment without treatment. On average, high-income countries release about 30% of the municipal and industrial wastewater they generate untreated. That ratio increases to 62% in upper middle-income countries and to 72% in lower middle-income countries. In low-income countries, a staggering 92% is released back into the environment without treatment of any kind. 
Source: Unesco World Water Assessment programme 2017

Water related diseases

50% of all hospital beds worldwide are filled due to water related diseases

Source text: Over half of the world’s hospitals beds are occupied with people suffering from illnesses linked with contaminated water and more people die as a result of polluted water than are killed by all forms of violence including wars. 
Source: UN Environment Programme
https://www.grida.no/publications/218 + https://gridarendal-website-live.s3.amazonaws.com/production/documents/:s_document/208/original/SickWater_screen.pdf?1486721310 

Ageing sewer systems 

$200 billion a year is needed to replace ageing sewer networks in industrial countries

Source text: The total costs of replacing ageing water supply and sanitation infrastructure in industrial countries may be as high as USD 200 billion a year.
Source: UNESCO

Sanitation economic benefits

$1 invested in water and sanitation
$4.30 return in reduced health care costs around the world

Source text: For every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a $4.30 return in the form of reduced health care costs around the world. 
Source: UN

Plastic vs. concrete

Plastic pipes are 6 times less likely to break than concrete pipes

Source text: Flexible pipes: 8.45 defects per kilometer, Rigid pipes: 50.26 defects per kilometer.
Source: Stein and Partner study, 2006



70% of the global population will live in urban areas by 2050

Source text: By 2050 2.5 billion more people are expected to live in cities, which accounts for 70% of the population. 90% of this increase is expected to take place in Africa and Asia. 
Source: United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

More heavy rainfall

30% more extreme rainfall in the US

Source text: Extreme downpours—rainstorms and snowfalls that are among the largest experienced at a particular location —are now happening 30 percent more often on average across the contiguous United States than in 1948.
Source: When It Rains, It Pours Global Warming and the Increase in Extreme Precipitation from 1948 to 2011 


Every year, flooding affect 250 million people and causes $40 billion in losses around the world

Source text: Today flooding affect 250 million people and causing USD 40 billion in losses every year
Source: World Bank - Water 2018, OECD 2016 - Financial Management of Flood Risk

Drought and water scarcity 

70% of the world’s megacities are experiencing drought

Source text: Fourteen of the world’s 20 megacities – those with the largest or fastest growing economies and the largest populations – are experiencing water scarcity or drought conditions.
Source: Trucost ESG Analysis, S&P Global

Groundwater depletion

More than 30% of the world’s largest groundwater systems are in distress

Source text: More than 30% of the world’s largest groundwater systems are now in distress.

Source: Richey, A. S. et al. Quantifying renewable groundwater stress with GRACE. Water Resour. Res. 51, 5217–5238 (2015).

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure is among the most effective tools to combat the impacts of climate change

Source text: Green Infrastructure is among the most widely applicable, economically viable and effective tools to combat the impacts of climate change and help people adapt to or mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. 
Source: European Commission


Building energy consumption

40% of energy consumption in Europe comes from buildings

Source text: In Europe, the built environment is responsible for approx. 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions
Source: European Commission – Energy Performance of Buildings

Building inefficiency

Up to 50% of the energy and water that flows into buildings in the US is wasted

Source text: As much as 30 to 50 percent of the energy and water that flows into our buildings is wasted.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

Green building trend

100% increase in global energy efficient building activity every 3 years

Source text: Global green building continues to double every three years.
Source: World Green Building Trends, 2016

Building process


9 out of 10 megaprojects around the globe go over budget

Source text: Nine out of ten construction projects go over budget” - Bent Flyvbjerg - an expert in project management at Oxford’s business school
Source: Bent Flyvbjerg, “What you should know about megaprojects and why: An overview,” Project Management Journal, 2014, Volume 45, Number 2, pp. 6–19

Construction and demolition waste

Construction waste accounts for up to 30% of all waste in the EU

Source: European Commission

Digital in Engineering and Construction 

21% predicted cost savings in construction with full-scale digitalisation

Source text: By 2025, full-scale digitalization in nonresidential construction will lead to annual global cost savings of $0.7 trillion to $1.2 trillion (13% to 21%) in the engineering and construction phases and $0.3 trillion to $0.5 trillion (10% to 17%) in the operation phase
Source: The Boston Consulting Group, 2016, The Transformative Power of Building Information Modeling 
Digital in Engineering and Construction 

Delays in construction

37% of constructions projects are delayed in the UK

Source text: Projects, as a whole, came in on time or better 63% of the time.
Source: UK Industry Performance Report 2018

Building comfort

Health and comfort demands

90% in the UK are concerned about the impact their homes have on their health and wellbeing

Source text: 90% of those surveyed buying or moving into a new home are concerned about the impact their homes would have on their health and wellbeing

Indoor behaviour

Europeans spend about 90% of their time indoors

Source: European Commission, 2003, Indoor air pollution: new EU research reveals higher risks than previously thought

Indoor Air Quality

11% more productivity with improved ventilation 

Source text: Improved ventilation can lead up to 11% gains in productivity
Source: Loftness V. Hartkopf V. and Gurtekin B. (2003) “Linking Energy to Health and Productivity in the Built Environment: Evaluating the Cost-Benefits of High Performance Building and Community Design for Sustainability, Health and Productivity,” USGBC Green Build Conference, 2003. Available: http:cbpd.arc.cmu.edu/ebids Last accessed 5 August 2014