2000 Million people have no access to clean water
I have written before about your right to clean drinking water. Now, in January of 2018, I come across this sad news. 2000 million people have no clean water? That is a staggering figure don’t you think? This is new data from the World Health Organization. A large part of our body is made up of water.
This fact should make one realize the importance of daily clean drinking water, we need it to survive. Small children suffer the most if this basic element is missing in their daily lives.
To have no clean water also poses a sanitary problem. Each day some 800 children, younger than 5 years old, die of the consequences of not having clean drinking water. Illnesses like cholera, dysentery and intestinal diseases, which are transmitted through water, being one of the main reasons. Diarrhea is the second cause worldwide of death.
Open air toilets
It is hard to imagine that 400 million people still depend on getting their water supply directly from lakes and rivers (without any kind of filtration or treatment.) The lack of clean water also poses another related problem. In rural areas, especially in poor countries, there are few or no toilets. The so-called open-air toilets with no clean water to wash your hands afterward poses a big problem of infection.
Globally this has improved. Data from 2000 to 2015 documents this lack of proper facilities has dropped from 20% to 12%. Some countries are doing their best to improve this situation. Big improvements can be observed In Ethiopia, open-air toilets have been reduced from 80% to 27% in those 15 years.
In Angola, basic access to clean drinking water has been significantly increased but there is still a 40% difference between people living in big cities or rural areas.
Safe management of water
Mr. Al-Hassan Adam, the international coordinator of End Water Poverty, commented that all big industries should do more to protect the hydro resources. In countries like Mexico, most water is still contaminated. In most poor countries there is an urgent need for infrastructure to guarantee the safe management of water.
How to convert salt water into drinkable water
One very interesting way of getting more clean and drinkable water is the desalination process. Rich countries have no problem with this but for poor countries, it might be a challenge. Obviously, only the countries with a coastline will consider this. The question is how far inland they would be willing to transport this clean water? probably not very far inland.
There are different options on the market like a floating unit along the coast. Countries with a hot climate might need more water. It rains less so there are not too many options. Egypt is planning to construct 16 desalination plants.
The Desalination Process
With enough energy, water can be evaporated and then condensed to produce pure water. But this is very energy intensive and not practicable. The desalination process, generally speaking, removes salts and minerals from seawater through a process of ultrafine filtration (reverse osmosis.)
The resulting water, free of the harsh solids, is now suitable for human consumption as well as agricultural needs. All countries which can afford to build these desalination plants will benefit from this fresh water source since about 70% of the surface of our planet is covered with ocean.
At the moment some 1 % of the world population depends on this system and it is said to be better water for your health than water obtained from groundwater or other sources. Lakes, rivers, and groundwater are often contaminated nowadays. Desalinated water contains less salt and also limescale. The single biggest desalination project is in Ras Al-Khair in Saudi Arabia.
It is of utmost importance that new water sources are found or the ones existing be modernized and or amplified. The UN expects that 14% of the world population will suffer from water scarcity by the year 2025.
Source: Roshni Majumdar in Share International, and Wikipedia
Photo Source: Pixabay
Perhaps you would like to read my post on solutions for our planet.