2000 Million people have no access to clean water
I have written before about your right to clean drinking water. Now, in January 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 primary 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 (with no 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 pose 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. Enormous 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 tropical climate might need more water. It rains less, so there are not too many options. Egypt is planning to construct 16 desalination plants.
A special book
This book can explain what solutions are available in extreme situations where water is needed.
The idea of seawater desalination plants is not new but now there are these light, portable, mobile desalination plants. You can use them for private houses, clinics, or factories. They function wherever you need clean water. On a ship or in remote areas.
For those of you that are interested and do not mind a more technical book, I think this will be an excellent choice.
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 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 freshwater 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 they say it 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.
In this YouTube video, you can hear that the desalination process has its drawbacks too.
It is of utmost importance that new water sources are found or the ones existing to be modernized and or amplified. The UN expects that 14% of the world population will suffer from water scarcity by the year 2025. Here, in the south of Spain where I live, I have been able to observe the change in the climate.
Every year there is less rain, and it is getting hotter. If you were born in a privileged area in the world where having clean drinking water is not a problem, the next time you open your water tap think of the 2000 million people who have to drink polluted water.
I have made a special page for you. You will find a variety of things that might interest you. Please have a look at the page Recommendations.
Source: Roshni Majumdar in Share International and Wikipedia
Photo Source: Pixabay
We can do a lot for our planet, but it will mean that we have to mend our ways. It seems that humanity is not so keen on doing that. There are many solutions out there and if implemented all together they would make a huge change. Perhaps you would like to read my post on solutions for our planet.
How sad, but so true, 2000 million people have no clean water.
Having traveled extensively around the world I encountered so many places where children on the back of donkeys were transporting water from the nearest well instead of attending school.
I had the good fortune to work on a desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. Fresh, clean water, made from the Red Sea is pumped free of charge to all parts of the Kingdom.
Unfortunately, other countries do not have the money to do this for their citizens.
You are absolutely correct, every person on planet earth has the right to clean water, it is essential to life.
How do we fix this problem?
Good evening Ed,
It is a staggering figure that 2000 million people have no clean water. People in western countries have it so good as this need is covered for most of them. ofcourse I do not want to get into a debate on the quality of water one gets from the authoreties but we do not have to walk for miles to get it. By simply opening a water tap it comes out, something we take for granted.
Rich countries like Saudi Arabia can afford to give all their citizens good water, it is just a question of money, to have or not to have. In the future it will be one of the main things people worry about and could probably also start a war because of it. I live in the south of Spain and the Climate Change is so evident. The whole country is thursty and lacks rain.
I hope science will come up with some new things but till then we just have to rely on many more desalination plants to be build.
Thank you for your visit, hope to see you again.
This is such a sad thing that so many people are out of drinking water. There is so much water in this world I do not understand why scientist can’t or won’t convert the bad water to clean drinking water. It’s got to be about politics or some greedy people will lose some pennies if that is done.
Good evening Lenny,
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Yes, it is sad when in certain parts of the world people have not got the basic guaranteed. Water is such a “normal” thing in our countries that it is difficult to imagine there are places where one has to walk for miles to get it.
It’s terrible to read things like this, and most of the time the countries that suffer from the lack of water, have rich neighbours that will do little to lend a hand.
I always find it amazing that we managed to put men on the moon, get a probe on Mars, build artificial intelligence…yet the rich and powerful refuse to invest in human life.
I hope your article get seen by A LOT of people – great read.
Good evening Chris,
You have put that really well. The billions spent on projects like going to the moon or investigating how Mars might be as a habitat but then on the other side showing a complete disrespect for human life. There is such a disbalance on our planet that it is frightening.
I do not know where we are going, I mean as a human race but it does not look very promising.
Thank you for reading my post. I hope to see you again.
This is an informative article. It is so disheartening hearing that humans lack a good source of water in this present century we are.
Most of the western countries have good water to drink and use. African countries have little or nothing and not much is being done to help the situation. There are so many factors that contributed to the lack of good drinkable water.
These factors are different from country to country and continent to continent in the world.
Good Morning Ajibola,
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There is enough water for everybody but in some countries, it is wasted and in others, it is lacking. One has to be conscious of the fact that all human beings have a right to clean water. A lot still has to be done by governments to guaranty clean water for everybody.
Your post really opened my eyes. Living in the arid west, I know lack of water is a growing problem. I never realized, however, that it would by 14% of the worlds population going without clean water. It makes me appreciate what I have and inspires me to do something. Thanks for sharing!
Good Morning Nate,
Having 2 websites since the beginning of 2017 has also opened my eyes on a lot of issues. I am now more aware of what is happening in our world. I live in the south of Spain and the lack of rain is a big problem. I have become more thoughtful with how I use the available water.
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It is sad hearing that 2000 million people do not have access to drinking water when over 70 % of planet earth is made of water. Our body constantly needs water to stay in top shape. Government all over the world, especially in poor countries, need to do to provide potable drinking water to their citizen. it is sad seeing millions of children dying annually from water-borne diseases because of the carelessness of their government. i appreciate how you explained desalination process and its benefit
Good Morning Tolu,
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Water is one of the things we cannot be without, all humans need it to survive. Things we think are normal like washing the car and watering the lawn might be seen as a luxury in countries where water is lacking. I have seen unusual methods of catching water from the air, easily build tower-like structures that capture the water. These were put up in very dry parts of Africa. Anyhow, it is urgent that cheap and effective methods are put into place so people worldwide have access to clean water.
It really saddens my heart seeing people dying because of lack of good water…
I think the Government should provide more infrastructures and also find a solution to get this done..because it is not only affecting the people but also in the aspect of agriculture. I think something should be done fast so that we won’t have more people dying because of lack of good water.Thank you
Good Morning Divine,
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It is very sad that so many people are lacking clean water when there is enough water for everybody. Infrastructure and distribution have to be updated so this problem might disappear. The problem is that it will get hotter because of Climate Change so this water problem could very well become bigger.
I personally think that 2000 million (that’s 2 billion!!) people without water is far beyond staggering. I mean, far beyond. Just busted. How is that even possible?
As for those open-air toilets, I’m really glad to hear that whatever it may be now, that the situation is improving. I didn’t know it was that bad. Hooray for Ethiopia and Angola. They’ve been doing work. Which is great to hear.
As for water management, I couldn’t agree more. There definitely is an urgent need for proper infrastructure. Whereas the fact that most water in Mexico is contaminated, that’s just sad. They really should be doing more. But, generally speaking, I feel the governments overall aren’t doing enough when it comes to this.
Also, I loved the idea of converting salt water into a drinkable one.
Not sure if you can feel it more in Spain, but for us in Latvia, I and my wife have noticed the changes in climate as well. It’s definitely getting hotter.
Good Morning Matiss,
Nice to see you again and thank you for your comment. I hope you and your family are keeping safe.
Yes, the number of 2000 million is shocking. For people like myself it is difficult to imagine to suddenly have no water coming out of the water tap anymore.
Here in Spain there is a water shortage already. Transporting water from the north to the south is done in some places but includes a big water loss. The reservoirs are not full because of lack of rain. This year tourism has gone down the drain so there might not be an urgent water shortage on the coast in the south.
There is a saying that everyone is a human being, but not everyone is being human. Thank you Taetske for being human. This is what we need in the world today. I once had a construction contract in two countries in Africa (will not mention names) and it was painful to see how long women and children walked to collect water for use at home. It was not safe at all because it was being share with animals. But it was to be used for drinking, among other things.
But the people in leadership pretended not to see. They lived in areas with clean and safe water and only remembered the locals when it was a voting season. We were moved to share our profits with them by putting up boreholes, but I am learning from your article that that too is not so safe. I wish we knew that, we would have offered something more safe. Thank you Taetske. Thank you for writing such articles.
Good Morning Micheal,
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There will be less water over the years. It is predicted that by the year 2050 Portugal and Spain will become so hot that all people will have to move to the north. I notice it here on my farm and it worries me.
Globally there has to come a shift so we care for all the gifts given by Mother Nature in a better way. There is enough for everybody, but it has to be fairly distributed and managed. At the moment we are going through difficult times. I hope it will cause people to rethink how we can all contribute and become more conscious of necessary changes.
Hi again! This is yet another eye opener. It’s shocking to see that up to 2000 million people have no access to clean water. Not having access to clean water leads to some water-borne diseases like cholera, which is also deadly. It’s sad to see that people die from not having something as easy as clean water. This situation is mostly rampant in African countries, most western countries have good access to clean water. I appreciate you for explaining desalination and it’s benefits, thank you
Good Morning Sophie,
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When I found out that 2000 million people have no access to clean drinking water, I was shocked. This is an urgent issue for the world. How blessed I am to have my own water on the farm. It was checked in a laboratory and the results were excellent.
Thanks for writing this article that stands to address one of the big issues in the till date – the issue of a large percentage of the world not having access to clean water. Water is very important for our daily activities as humans. And it is a necessity to ensure that the water available for our use is clean. You have just written an article to address a very great topic, and I applaud you for that.
Good Morning Kelvin,
The importance of clean water is getting more serious every year. Fewer people will have access to clean water in the future. We are so stupid to pollute the good water we have.
I live on my little farm in the south of Spain and see how the seasons are changing. Every year there is less water, and it becomes worrisome.
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Good article Taetske, thank you for this post. In my working life, I was involved with medical grade reverse osmosis machines which were capable of producing very high quality ultra pure water. The costs of purchasing, installing and maintaining these machines are enormous, but the benefits outweigh the costs.
A big problem though is the reject water produced by these machines. Operating at an efficiency of greater than 90% results in waste water in great quantity. In home, under sink systems will produce decent quality drinking water, with much less waste water being produced, and the initial cost is manageable.
The drawback to this type of system is that they are dependent on previously treated water supplied by some form of a local municipality. Systems of this type are not designed to treat previously unfiltered water. There are other home solutions which are capable of filtering water from wells or other ground water sources, but the cost of systems of this type is a bit prohibitive for most.
This truly is a global issue that needs to addressed on a global level. If nations around the planet would put aside their political differences, a solution could and would be found.
Good Morning Greg,
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My Father was the director of a private water company in Holland. This company served good water to 7 small cities. In the Utrecht hill range there were drillings of 300 meters deep. This water was send to Veenendaal where it was treated by going through a water filter tower. It had many sand filled beds and at the end of the process you had very clean and good tasting water.
Here, at my organic farm I have 2 water sources. One is the water rights to an old well close by. I used to drink this water with no side effects for many years. Later on a second source was added in the form of a perforation of only 10 meters deep. The company who came to do the work was enthusiastic and said it was excellent quality. They calculated it produces 14 cubic meters in 24 hours.
Many years later I had the water checked in a Lab and the result was excellent. I know I am blessed with having 2 water sources. One system is for the garden and the other for the house. If there is a problem with a motor I can hook up that part to the other system.
I know this waste water is a big problem. I wish we would be able to invent things without side effects. Look at medicine, every pill has side effects, no wonder we are so sick. I know I am lucky when I open the faucet good tasting and clean water comes out.