Water plays a major role in our day to day life cycle and it is a part and parcel of every human living in this planet. Our Earth contains 70% of water which should be sufficient for the growth of every human life form. But sadly millions of people die annually, most commonly children, because of the diseases caused by insufficient water supply, bad sanitation and hygiene. These factors impact the food security of people everywhere in the world.
What does “Clean water” really mean? Generally, clean water is referred to as water that is pure and safe for drinking. Safe water must be free from all forms of germs and pathogens that are primary source of deceases that may further lead to death. Water used for drinking should be fresh and pure and should not carry any bad odor or color making it undesirable to drink. People should feel confident to drink and to give the same to their family with certainty that they are giving them water that is fresh, clean, healthy and safe.
Uses of clean water
Access to safe, clean water opens up a world of possibilities for community development. Without water, the most basic element of life, all other development efforts cannot be imagined. Sanitation and hygiene, working together with a source of clean water create lasting community health and sustained human growth and development.
Just the simple act of washing hands with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease. When coupled with the use of adequate sanitation facilities and a dependable source of clean water, the multiplied effects are even greater. With the benefits of clean water, adequate sanitation, and good hygiene in place, educated individuals grow up to be the future of their respective nations.
Causes of water contamination
The water pollution these days has become a major problem around the world. The major factors for water being polluted are basically the mistakes that are caused by people’s negligence. Some of the key water pollution sources are industrial waste, radioactive waste, sewage and marine wastes that are being dumped directly into large sea bodies without treating them from chemicals.
Effects of unclean water
There are many water borne diseases that can spoil the health of an individual and may even become the cause of a life threat. Some bacterial diseases often associated with drinking or using contaminated water are Cholera, E.coli infection, Dysentery, Salmonellosis, and Typhoid fever.
Some Facts and Figures (Referred from UNDP)
Nearly 2.6 billion people have access to pure form of drinking water since 1990, whereas around 663 million people are without. At least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated.
Between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of the global population using an improved drinking water source has increased from 76 per cent to 91 per cent. But water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population and is projected to rise. Over 1.7 billion people are currently living in river basins where water use exceeds recharge. 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services, such as toilets or latrines.
More than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or sea without any pollution removal. Each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrheal diseases according to Economic report (2008).
Hydropower is the most important and widely-used renewable source of energy and as of 2011, represented 16 per cent of total electricity production worldwide. Approximately 70 per cent of all water abstracted from rivers, lakes and aquifers is used for irrigation.
If the problem of water pollution is not properly taken care of, the costs are going to be huge both for people and for the economy. There are already many organizations working towards providing pure drinking water even to the poorest of the poor, such organizations include WATER.ORG, WATER FOR GOOD, PURE WATER FOR THE WORLD and many more. Civil society organizations should work to keep governments accountable to invest in water research and development, and promote the basic sanitation practices that can help to maintain the people from falling prey to the deceases caused by poor sanitation practices. Creating proper awareness in public and to the governments will help maintain sustainability and integrity for both human and ecological systems.