While you can live a month or more without food, the average person can only last three to five days without water, or even less in higher temperature climates. Sadly, an estimated 780 million people in the world live without access to clean water, according to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. This devastating number is only set to increase as populations grow exponentially and changes in climate continue to stress the world’s clean water supply. However, certain areas of the world are at a much greater risk for a potentially deadly water crisis.
An estimated 71 percent of the earth is covered in water. However, the access and the availability of clean, drinkable water is such that there is potential to create a water crisis. Much of the earth’s water is found in the oceans, with only about 2.5 percent considered fresh water. Of that percentage, much of the remaining fresh water is locked up in ice. This leaves the remaining accessible water in severe competition among quickly growing populations. These growing populations also contribute to man-made water issues. For example, many clean water sources are polluted each year by industrial, agricultural and human wastes.
While much of the world is under some form of water stress, certain populations are hardest hit during a water crisis. In general, developing nations have the highest impact rate, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, India, parts of the Middle East, Central Asia, Chile, China and South Africa. These populations lack water for various reasons. For some, it’s a general inaccessibility to sources of water due to a harsh climate. However, the majority of these populations lack access to clean water, or the technology and resources required to safely treat and filter water for Barrington water treatment. Sadly, this results in numerous deaths, including hundreds of children every day, due to water-related illnesses.
There is no single solution to end the water crisis. The solutions needed vary depending on each area in question. For some areas, financial support, equipment, and the infrastructure needed for clean water are being developed, such as ceramic water filters, biosand filters, or innovative solutions like Life straws and Johnson water conditioning. Other areas may benefit from smarter use of agricultural land, changes in global policies, or just general education in water conservation and protection.
While there’s no simple solution to ending the water crisis, small changes make huge impacts. Awareness and a desire to change are the keys to helping manage water resources for generations to come.