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How the Coronavirus Crisis Highlights the Need for Clean Water

While confronting the coronavirus pandemic, experts insist on washing your hands thoroughly as a way of minimizing the odds of catching the virus.

What happens if you can’t access clean water?


The United Nations have named March 22nd World Water Day as a way to make progress towards the goal of everyone having worldwide clean water for drinking & hygiene. In the last 40 years, many countries have made progress as far as wastewater is concerned, providing people with clean drinking water & treating water supplies.

However, taking water resources management and policy into consideration, one can notice that there is still a lot to accomplish. More than 40% of the world’s population lives in areas where water sources are scarce, and that figure is likely to rise. Every day, nearly 1,000 children die from preventable water- and sanitation-related diseases.

Life without clean water

Since the 1980s, water use has increased worldwide by about 1% per year driven by population growth, economic development, and changing consumption patterns. At the same time, climate change threats affecting water supplies are increasing day by day.

One example is the incident in Chennai, India (2019). People had to queue up waiting for water to be delivered by tanker trucks since the city’s reservoirs were empty. The drought situation was worsened by climate change, exhausting local supplies. Chennai is home to 7 million people and at the time being faces severe water shortages.

In rural Mexico, 5 million people cannot access clean & safe water. Women and children are the ones responsible for collecting water, taking the time that could be spent in school, or engaging in political issues. Men are responsible for decisions affecting water rights.

The water situation in the United States

Lead contamination in Flint, Michigan has had locals worry about the safety of their drinking water. Boiling water advisory in August 2019 as a precaution against impurities had been decided after a pipeline rupture reduced pressure in the city’s water lines. The advisory ended after water samples proved that there was no longer danger of contamination. The city, though, is still replacing lead and galvanized steel water delivery pipes to make sure further lead exposure will be prevented.

Nowadays, with coronavirus present on every continent except Antarctica, washing hands is a difficult challenge in many developing countries.

Clean water and soap are often in short supply, and many people live without running water.



source: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/how-coronavirus-crisis-highlights-need-clean-water-135547

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