According to a recent report released by the UN and the World Bank, 40 percent of the world’s population is dealing with water scarcity issues. Over two billion people do not have regular access to safe, clean drinking water, and over 4.5 billion do not have access to safe sanitation services. This lack of access could drive hundreds of millions of people to be displaced in search of safer water, if changes are not made quickly to address these issues.
A big component of the water scarcity issue is the lack of wastewater treatment options. About 80 percent of wastewater is released back into the environment untreated. This makes it unusable for clean drinking and sanitation.
The report, titled Making Every Drop Count: An Agenda for Water Action, emphasizes the fact that women and girls are disproportionately affected by the lack of clean, safe water. Water scarcity limits their work and education opportunities.
The issue of water scarcity, however, will ultimately affect everyone, as water plays a major role in all industries. The plain fact that the human body is 60 percent water is simple proof that we need water to survive.
National and local governments, private businesses, and individuals can all play a part in reducing water use, and finding creative ways to reuse and recycle the water that we need to live. As the report concluded, “Whoever you are, whatever you do, wherever you live, we urge you get involved, and contribute to meeting this great challenge: safe water and sanitation for all, and our water resources managed sustainably. Make every drop count. It’s time for action.”
Quotes and facts obtained from: https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/03/1004982
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