It’s estimated that approximately 800 million people in our world don’t have access to a supply of clean water. There are many health issues that can be traced directly to a lack of clean water, such as waterborne diseases, diarrhea, and dehydration. But, there are also other wider reaching consequences that many people don’t consider.
The Time to Source Drinking Water
In many parts of the world that lack abundant sources of water, people may need to spend around 2-3 hours every day to travel to a water supply and haul the water back to their homes. It’s not unusual for multiple members of a family (including children) to engage in this back breaking work, and this is a significant time investment. Sadly, despite these efforts, a great deal of the water collected will still contain bacteria, and it’s usually stagnant. This encourages the transmission of waterborne diseases, and approximately 1,400 children alone die each day from drinking dirty water.
A Lack of Education Opportunities
Human beings rely on water to survive, the time spent gathering water is essential, and in many places, it supersedes educational opportunities that may be available. When children are engaged in collecting water, there is no time for school, and this means they have a lack of opportunities later in life. Over time this equates to a spiral in poverty that is passed from one generation to the next. Education is the key to lifting people out of poverty; earning an income can provide access to a better lifestyle and make cleaner water easier to access.
Poor Sanitary Conditions
The cleanliness of the drinking water is an issue, but when there is no running water or a sewage system in place, people cannot flush waste away. In many places, this leads to a pile of waste located close to where people are living, and this inevitably encourages disease. In fact, a lack of basic sanitation is a leading cause of infection, and it’s the second largest cause of death in the world today.
What Can We Do?
The focus of this article may seem grim, but there are many charities and non profits operating around the globe to help fix this problem. Sourcing water supplies closer to settlements can help to reduce water collection times, and improving sanitation can help to curb infection rates. Finding a church group or other organization that’s working on initiatives is a great start, and even a small monthly donation could make a real difference.
We take our access to clean drinking water for granted, and the water we receive may not be as clean as we think. The EPA doesn’t recognize many contaminants, and if you live in a hard water area, it can affect many areas in your home. For this reason, many homeowners have installed their own water treatment systems to secure high quality drinking water for their families. If you want to know more, contact your local WQA certified water treatment professional for expert advice.
By EcoWater Systems.
EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is the largest water treatment company in the state and is a member of Water Quality Association.