Water is a necessary element for sustainable development. It serves as a crucial link between the environment and society. Water is critical for human survival, healthy ecosystem, food production, energy production, and socio-economic development. Increasing population, limited water resources, and our dependence on water has given rise to global water quality challenges.
Important to realize, water is a rights issue as well. There is a need to balance the commercial demands on water resources, in order to meet the needs of the communities.
The Right to Water
July 2010, came up with recognition of an important milestone by United Nation (UN) General Assembly of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. It’s human right to access sufficient-
- Also, affordable (cost of water below 3% of total household income), and
- last but not the least, physically accessible (source of water within 1000 meters of living area & collection time below 30 mins) water for domestic and personal uses (50-100 liters of water for a person in a day).
Water Quality Facts- Global Water Quality Challenges
- WHO/UNICEF, 2017 – More than 2.1 billion people are lacking access to safe drinking water services.
- UNICEF/WHO, 2017 – More than 4.5 billion people are not getting safe sanitation services.
- WHO/UNICEF, 2015 – Every year more than 3, 50,000 children under the age of 5, die from diarrheal diseases.
- WHO data, 4 out of every 10 people are affected by water scarcity.
- UNISDR – 90% of all the disasters are water related.
- UNESCO, 2017 – Almost 80% of wastewater enters the ecosystem again without treatment.
- WHO/UNICEF, Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation – More than 1.8 billion population use drinking water from a feces-contaminated source, giving rise to health issues like polio, typhoid, cholera, and dysentery. Furthermore, even a greater number of population than this are drinking water from a system which is not protected adequately from sanitary hazards.
These facts and figures generate a clear picture of the global water quality challenges faced every year. With attention to this, it creates a better vision in coming up with the way outs to resolve them.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene – Global Water Pollution
Lack of basic sanitation facilities, contaminated water are the reasons for the unhygienic living condition. As per now, there are more than 2.3 billion people throughout the globe, who do not have basic sanitation facilities like toilets.
Unclean water and Child mortality
The major causes of child mortality include unclean water and child mortality. To explain, childhood diarrhea is closely associated with poor hygiene practices, water contaminated with agents responsible for communicable diseases, inadequate sanitation, and insufficient water supply. In nutshell, all these parameters are contributing to global water quality challenges.
To demonstrate, in developing countries, diarrhea causes the death of more than 1.5 million children every year below the age of five.
Dealing with Global water Quality Challenges – Celebrating Water Resources
To emphasize, these days involves spreading awareness through campaigns for making people conscious and inspiring them.
On Water Day, 22 March 2018, The International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development” will commence. This campaign ends on 22 March 2028. This journey of 10 years is about meeting global water quality challenges and creating a balance between our available water resources and ecosystem.