More than half a million people die each year of diarrhea caused by unsafe drinking water with 2.1 billion people still without access to safely managed drinking water.

They are among the findings of a new report from Gospel for Asia highlighting the "worldwide water crisis" that they warn could get worse.

The report, Dying of Thirst: The Global Water Crisis, says that while safe drinking water is something most of us take for granted, millions of people only have access to contaminated water and millions more are at risk of having no water at all. It says that with demand for drinkable water set to spike by an estimated 30 per cent over the next 30 years, massive pressure is set to be placed upon existing clean water sources.

Dr KP Yohannan, the founder of GFA, said that with the water crisis not going to get any better, the world needs to "start thinking seriously about these things now to prepare ourselves and future generations for the challenges we will face in the days to come, so we can be better equipped to handle them".

The report concludes with a short list of solutions which it says can make a difference. These include providing families with BioSand water filters, drilling deep wells and training local people to maintain them, launching water reclamation programs, developing national water policies and pursing desalination technologies.

In addressing the problem, GFA - which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary, has drilled more than 4,000 "Jesus well" in water-starved areas of South Asia in 2017 alone. These provide safe drinking water for entire villages and are maintained by local communities.