The deteriorating water crisis

17-04-2017

The World Economic Forum had announced in 2015 that the water crisis was the top global risk threatening the world using a calculated impact on society as a measure of devastation caused. Now in 2017, the crisis has not improved. In fact, it has gotten worse in many developing countries. Presently, more than one billion people are living without accessibility to safe, clean water, with a significant portion of them in developing nations. 2.4 billion people – a mind-boggling figure – do not have access to proper sanitation. Water for washing clothes, bathing, and consumption are all usually drawn from highly polluted and contaminated waterways, streams, and rivers. Many nations also do not have the proper infrastructure needed to safely manage the wastewater, and separate the potable water from the wastewater. Thus, 90 per cent of wastewater is released into waterways, streams, and rivers without treatment.

Consequently, 1.6 million deaths per year can be attributed to poor sanitation and polluted water, and approximately half the hospital beds in the world are taken by people suffering from waterborne diseases. The rural villages and towns in developing countries are confronted with nigh-insurmountable challenges due to the lack of clean, fresh water in their vicinity. Women in these villages often travel miles on foot to reach a water source in order to gather water of dubious quality for consumption. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that in Africa, due to the necessity of collecting water for use, more than 40 billion work hours are lost per year.