Health issues

About twenty countries are already suffering from a water shortage, this is especially in Africa and western Asia.[i] 

One tenth of the global disease burden is preventable by achievable improvements in the way we manage water. Cost-effective, resilient and sustainable solutions have proven to alleviate that burden.[ii]

MENA is an acronym given to the Middle East and North Africa, where there is a degree of water scarcity in over twenty of the economies.[iii]

A child dies every eight seconds from drinking contaminated water, and the sanitation trend is getting sharply worse, mostly because of the worldwide drift of the rural peasantry to urban slums.[iv]

China has only 6 percent of the world’s fresh water sources, but almost one-quarter of the its population.[v]

One in five children does not have access to safe water.[vi]

The chemicals and wastes found in our drinking water have numerous effects on health, causing problems that range from cancer to infant death. And these problems stem from chemical threats that we can identify. Regulations and laws have been written to protect water quality and human health, but more is needed. Federal water quality standards fall short when it comes to the majority of chemicals found in water sources. These are chemicals whose health effects we know nothing about.[vii]

One in every five countries is likely to experience a severe shortage of water within the next twenty-five years.[viii]

88% of the diarrhoea related cases worldwide are attributable to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene. These cases result in 1.5 million deaths each year, most being death of children. Diarrhoea kills more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.[ix]

The water in plastic bottles can be just as polluted as water in the tap, groundwater or in a well. A study conducted in 2008 showed that “bottled water contains disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue, and pain medication”. [x]

According to Tony Allan, China’s one-child policy had such a great effect on global water management that China saved the world with the adoption of this policy.[xi]

Private companies buy up water in a country, such that the population must drink polluted water because the produced water is too expensive.[xii]

Water-related improvements are crucial to meet the Millenium Development Goals, reduce child mortality, and improve health and nutritional status in a sustainable way. In addition, they induce multiple social and economic benefits, adding importantly to enhanced well-being.[xiii]

PET and other types of plastic releases dangerous toxins so that when people in poor countries buy the water on bottles it is contaminated.[xiv]

An important share of the total burden of disease worldwide—around 10%—could be prevented by improvements related to drinking-water, sanitation, hygiene and water resource management.[xv]

60% of Africa and Latin Americas and 47% of Europe’s land is composed of drainage basins.[xvi]

Globally improving water, sanitation and hygiene has the potential to prevent at least 9.1% of the disease burden or 6.3% of all deaths.[xvii]

Bibliography


[i]Holland, Ann-Christin Sjölander (2005): The Water Business: Corporation Versus People. London: Zed Books
[ii] http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241596435_eng.pdf
[iii] Allan, Tony (2011): Virtual Water: tackling the threat to our planet’s most precious resource. London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd
[iv] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[v] Barlow, Maude and Tony Clarke (2002): Blue Gold: The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World’s Water. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd
[vi] Mays, Larry M. (2007): Water Resources Sustainability. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
[vii] Smith, A. Zachary and Grenetta Thomassey (2002): Freshwater Issues. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO
[viii] De Villiers, Marq (1999): Water Wars: Is the World’s Water Running Out?. London: Butler and Tanner Ltd
[ix] http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241596435_eng.pdf and http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2009/9789241598415_eng.pdf
[x] http://www.ewg.org/reports/BottledWater/Bottled-Water-Quality-Investigation
[xi] Allan, Tony (2011): Virtual Water: tackling the threat to our planet’s most precious resource. London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd
[xii] Bozzo, Sam (2008): Blue Gold: World Water Wars. Purple Turtle Films
[xiii] http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241596435_eng.pdf
[xiv] Bozzo, Sam (2008): Blue Gold: World Water Wars. Purple Turtle Films
[xv] http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241596435_eng.pdf
[xvi] Gleick, H., Peter (1993): Water in Crisis: A Guide to the World’s Fresh Water Resources. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc.

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