Access to safe drinking water is widely considered a basic human right but for many countries across the world access to clean drinkable water is difficult. In the UK it’s easy for us to take our access to clean drinking water for granted but across the world, a fifth of all people drink water from a source that is not protected from contamination. The answer for overcoming the water crisis could be found in natural and chemical-free solutions.
The map above created by the Guardian shows areas around the world that do not have access to water that has been treated.
It’s important to note that water quality isn’t only an issue faced by developing nations. The US has experienced increasing issues with water quality most widely known are the problems with water access in California and the lead containment issue faced in Flint, Michigan. In fact, in 2016 alone Washington Post reported 5,300 quality violations by water suppliers across the country.
The map above created by CNN shows how many municipal water suppliers are violating lead and copper levels by the most recent estimates.
What is causing the water quality problem across the world?
There are many combined factors that are causing water quality problems across the world. If you take a look at the facts around water quality around the globe you start to understand the scope of the problem:
- Globally 2.4 billion people live without any form of water sanitation.
- Lack of sanitation is one of the most significant forms of water pollution.
- 90% of sewage in developing countries is discharged untreated directly into water bodies.
- Every day 2 million tonnes of sewage and other effluents drain into the world’s water.
- Industry discharges an estimated 300-400 megatonnes of waste into water bodies every year.
- Non-point source pollution from agriculture and urban areas often greatly increases the total pollutant load together with industrial point source pollution.
- A reduction of about one-third of the global biodiversity is estimated to be a consequence of the degradation of freshwater ecosystems mainly due to pollution of water resources and aquatic eco systems.
- Re-use of wastewater in agriculture is important for livelihoods, but is associated with serious health risks.
Are there natural, chemical-free solutions to solve our water problem?
Firstly, it’s important for all to filter water where possible, specifically where water quality has been compromised. Solutions can be found through manmade and natural means. Natural carbon for example is an incredible purifier, and when that carbon is used within a high-quality man made water filter, you can remove the majority of dangerous contaminants, including water by-products that can cause cancer, lead and even dangerous microbes. If microbes are your primary concern, then UV purification using ultraviolet light ensures water that’s proven 99.9999% microbe-free. This is especially important when you’re working with children, the elderly, or people with a compromised immune system. You have the satisfaction of knowing your drinking water is clean, safe and purified.
When investing in water filtration solutions isn’t an option, boiling your water is a simple and natural purifying technique that has been used throughout history.
There are also a variety of plants that can be used to help purify your drinking water. Researchers in Mexico developed a cilantro based water filter that decreased the absorption of heavy metals such as lead. It is readily available, inexpensive and cilantro has always had a reputation for purification.
With many different types of contaminants affecting water, it may seem that we’re facing an endless problem. If we take our health into our hands, we can offer safe drinking water without contributing to plastic pollution, using harmful chemicals or even going to a great deal of trouble.