Blog post: World Water Day
March 22nd is the celebration of World Water Day. Water covers 70% of the surface of the earth, but less than 1% is available for human use. Across the Globe organizations such as UNICEF, Planet Water Foundation and Nestle Water celebrated this day with various events. World Water was created by the United Nations in 1993 to start a global awareness the water crisis facing all of us. Clean water is essential to life but it is also critical for creating jobs, and supporting economic and social development.
Almost a billion people use a water supply contaminated with feces and wastewater. Over 80% of the wastewater produced flows back into the ecosystem without being treated. This contaminated water increased the risks of contracting illnesses such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid. Most of these people affected by this contaminated water spend hours waiting in lines or traveling to find a clean source of water.
The goal of World Water Day is to ensure that everyone has access to safe clean water. The theme for 2017 is “Why Waste Water” which focuses on the ways to reduce, treat and reuse wastewater. Water Management Systems have been started that are designed to treat and reuse wastewater for agricultural use. These new systems will aid in reducing the pollution at the source by removing contaminants and reclaiming useful by-products. Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and Director-General of the International Labour Organization, stated that “Wastewater is a valuable resource in a world where water is finite and demand is growing,”
In keeping with these ideas, the EPA has developed a program called Water Sense. The goal of this program is to help American home and businesses make more efficient use of their water. They offer simple ways to reduce water usage. Simple tips such as turning off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth and taking showers instead of baths. Other tips were to keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap to get cold water. This is the website for the EPA Water Sense Program: EPA Water Sense
In the United States we are lucky to have access to some of the best water treatment systems but cities like Flint Michigan have shown that the problem of contaminated drinking water is still found in the US. The crisis in Flint Michigan is one that is being faced by several other cities and communities. Unsafe lead levels in tap water have been found in cities in throughout the country. CNN reported in 2016 that eighteen million Americans live in communities with high lead levels. CNN Exclusive: Lead in US Water Systems The crisis in the United States is primarily due to old lead pipes , but the issue of not having clean water to drink is global.
Working together is the only way to ensure that everyone has clean, safe drinking water. This process starts with testing our water for contaminants, stopping the release of contaminants into the source water, cleaning the water using treatment processes and filtration systems and then finally finding ways to conserve the most precious resource on earth.