Worldwide, 844 million people do not have access to clean water, meaning that one in nine people are living with water unsafe for human consumption. This is referred to as The Water Crisis.
The Water Crisis surpasses its effect on global health by affecting children, education, economics and women. Every 90 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease. Children are often tasked with collecting water for their families, taking time away from education opportunities. School attendance increases with increased access to clean water.
Globally, there is a $260 billion deficit each year due to lack of basic water and sanitation. With the provision of clean water, time and effort previously spent collecting water can refocus on other opportunities. Universal access to basic water and sanitation could result in a $32 billion reduction in healthcare costs.
Women are disproportionately affected by The Water Crisis, as they spend an estimated six hours collecting water every day; this time could be spent on education, family life and work.
The water crisis and its detrimental effects can be resolved with the provision of basic water and sanitation; this resolution can be reached with the top 10 clean water solutions.
Top 10 Clean Water Solutions:
- Educate: Educate the population to change consumption and lifestyle habits.
- Innovate and Conserve: Water sources, such as aquifers and rainwater, are prone to evaporation and unpredictability. The invention of new water conservation techniques will counteract this issue.
- Recycle: Recycling wastewater decreases water imports and encourages self-sufficiency in developing countries.
- Agriculture and Irrigation: Approximately 70 percent of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture. Improving agriculture and irrigation practices can appropriately distribute clean water for human consumption.
- Water Catchment and Harvesting: Areas without clean water rely on water catchment systems. Efforts to establish water harvesting systems provide independent control of resources.
- Infrastructure: Poorly managed infrastructure devastates the economy by wasting resources, increasing costs, diminishing quality of life and facilitating the spread of water-related diseases. Improved infrastructure conserves resources and enhances quality of life.
- Water Credit: The Water Credit Initiative utilizes microfinancing to provide affordable loans to those who require additional help in establishing clean water solutions.
- Water Equity: Water Equity relies on social impact investing to increase funds for water and sanitization loans.
- New Ventures: New Ventures funds research and development of new approaches to The Water Crisis.
- Global Engagement: Global Engagement is the foundation for lasting change on local and international levels
Although these are the top 10 clean water solutions, they are not the only solutions to The Water Crisis. Clean water access improves health, education and work opportunities for families across the world.
– Carolyn Gibson