Netherlands vs. Argentina: who will go to semi finals if we look at the water data?

The plot is thickening in Qatar now we have arrived at the quarter finals. The Argentinians put all their hope on their current squad as this is (most likely) Messi’s last world cup. It will be a very interesting match on many dimensions. The Queen of the Netherlands is Argentina so technically the Netherlands and Argentina are one kingdom right? The Netherlands want their revenge for 1978 and 2014 when the Oranges were peeled and juiced by the white and blue team. Who will win this time! You might think this depends on whether Messi is in form or whether Depay can play 120 minutes. Couldn’t be more wrong!  It is in the water! Does Argentina or the Netherlands have better access to sanitation? Let’s dig into the data on our favorite sustainable development goal. SDG 6. 

Country background


Argentines eat the most meat in all of South America, around 109.38kg per person per year, and have the third biggest appetite in the world behind only Australians (121.6kg) and Americans (124.1kg). Argentinians were once caught by the doping agency for high testosterone levels. After some research this came from a barbeque with high meat consumption.  


When Dutch children reach the age of 12 they are told that Santa does not exist, they will not marry their teacher, and the Netherlands will never win the world championships football.  In 2014 the orange squad was kicked out by the Argentinians, but the Dutch were most traumatized by the 1978 final which they also lost against Argentina.  Even people born after 1978 still remember that vividly. 

People who can drink from the tap:


As previously mentioned, Argentina is not reporting to the UN on their progress towards providing people access to clean and safe drinking water.  Also tells us that nobody has access to safely managed drinking water in Argentina. But when you ask google, the first website that pops up,, tells us that we can drink the tap in most areas of the country, but “to be sure ask your tour leader or the hotel/restaurant staff”. So if you want to have an adventure on your next vacation to Argentina, try drinking the tap and let us know what happens.


As we explained before 100 % of households have access to perfectly safe drinking water in the Netherlands. This is an impressive feat as the Netherlands has some of the dirtiest surface water in Europe. So tourists in Amsterdam, next time you drink water from the tap, be sure to be thankful for Dutch  ingenuity!  

Winner on Water: Netherlands

Percentage of households enjoying a connection to a proper sewage system


The UN SDG 6 website tells us the figure is 51 percent. There are apparently some large sewage construction projects underway but as of now nearly half of human excrements still go untreated. Keep that in mind before swimming in the Río de la Plata!


99% of the population in the Netherlands is connected to a sewage system and that water is treated before it flows into rivers and streams. This is unlike their neighbors France, Germany, and Belgium who give their dirty water to the Dutch to clean before it goes to the fish. Another win for Dutch engineers, and a win for the Netherlands on sewage. 

Winner on Sewage: Netherlands

Percentage of people that can wash their hands with soap in their house

Both countries do not report how many households can wash their hands with soap in their house. We are upset by this. Both countries -1 one point

Score : 1 -0 for the Netherlands