Food Safety
February 22, 2024

Clean Water Availability Around the World

Clean drinking water is a luxury that most of us take for granted. However, it is becoming more and more limited across the world as many water sources are becoming polluted. Water pollution occurs when harmful substances such as chemicals or microorganisms contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, aquifer, or other body of water, degrading water quality and rendering it toxic to humans or the environment.

Clean drinking water less than 0.1 percent is available as clean drinking water, and we have a population of 6.8 billion. An estimated 783 million people don’t have access to clean and safe water. It is a necessity that some people are unable to access. The earth’s population is rising rapidly, making water resources less and less available. In many provinces of South Africa, water is sometimes unavailable for two whole days. This happens approximately 60% of the time. Humans can survive 3 weeks without food, but only 4 days without water.  In other words, water is the primary necessity.

‘Unsafe water kills more people each year than war and all other forms of violence combined.’ Unsafe water sources are responsible for 1.2million deaths each year.  It is one of the world’s largest health and environmental problems – particularly for the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world.

Since 2015, more than 63 million people in India alone have consumed water from unsafe sources.  Many people across the world go on long treacherous journeys every day to find a source of water to provide for their families. Communities in under developed countries are disproportionately at risk because their homes are often closest to the most polluting industries.

In this map we see death rates from unsafe water sources across the world. Death rates measure the number of deaths per 100,000 people in each country or region. There are large differences in death rates between countries: rates are high in lower-income countries, across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Compare this with West Europe and America. There is a correlation between the lower income countries and the number of deaths due to unsafe water.

It is vital necessity as human beings that we can all have access to safe and clean water. The human body is made of 60% water, and this is a clear enough indication of the importance of water. If the sources of water are improved and more accessible this will allow safer journeys undertaken and improve the quality of life for many.

What can we do to help?

·      Properly dispose of chemical cleaners, oils, and non-biodegradable items to keep them from ending up down the drain.

·      Don't overuse water. Make sure to close a tap when washing dishes, take short showers. Even think about getting a water meter to shorten your water usage.

·      Reduce your plastic consumption and reuse or recycle plastic when you can.

Written by
Aakash Bhayana