The statistics concerning the global water crisis are staggering, especially in developing countries.

  1. 1 in 9 people or roughly 783 million individuals globally are unable to obtain safe drinking water.
  2. In developing countries, one-third of all schools, as well as one-third of all health care facilities, lack safe water and adequate sanitation.
  3. According to the World Health Organization, 3,900 children globally die each day as a result of waterborne diseases.
  4. 1.8 million people die every year of diarrhoeal diseases obtained from drinking unclean water.
  5. The illnesses caused by drinking unclean water as well as the many hours a day devoted to collecting this water, take away from and severely decrease the quality of life for entire communities.
  6. According to the United Nations, by itself, Sub-Saharan Africa loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water.

These are just a few of the shocking statistics that highlight the seriousness of the global water crisis. However, by donating and investing in initiatives that are environmentally safe and cost-effective it is possible to turn back the tide of the growing global water crisis.

Students, especially girls, who no longer have to focus time and effort on collecting water, can devote more time to attending school. With the addition of safe and sanitary latrine areas, girls can also stay in school throughout their teenage years following puberty.

With access to water, food security can become a reality in developing countries. Fewer crops will be lost and schools can begin to feed their students through the use of their own gardens, which will slash costs.

Access to clean water also means clean hands which lead to healthier bodies. People can focus on ending the cycle of poverty instead of succumbing to water-related sicknesses.

Clear cut access to clean water can also help alleviate conflicts over 276 transboundary river basins. An improved understanding of proper sanitation can increase access to clean water and significantly reduce pollution through unsanitary practices such as waste dumping into these river basins.

According to The Water Project, access to clean water alone can go a long way towards breaking the cycle of poverty for millions of people. All that is needed is to act upon this knowledge.

Drusilla Gibbs

Sources: World Water Council, Water, The Water Project
Photo: Occupy For Animals

Access to clean drinking water is a worldwide problem. One billion people, or roughly 1 in 7 persons across the globe, lack access to safe water. Without potable water, these millions of people are exposed to waterborne pathogens that can cause sickness and death. Each year, waterborne pathogens make tens of millions of people sick and lead to 1.8 million deaths. And all of these are preventable.

Researchers are working on cheap and practical ways to provide safe drinking water across the globe. Ramakrishna Mallampati, an investigator at the National University of Singapore, has devised a new way to purify dirty water. By using the peels of fruits and vegetables, Mallampati believes that he can effectively and economically filter out impurities from water to make it safe to drink.

The fruits and vegetables are used to purify dirty water by drawing out toxic ions and organic pollutants from liquid. Tomato peels effectively remove “dissolved organic and inorganic chemicals, dyes and pesticides, and…can also be used in large scare applications.” Tomatoes are the second most consumed vegetable in the world. With the vegetable’s widespread availability, using tomato peels to purify water could prove to be a convenient, easy, and cheap way to purify drinking water.

Like tomato peels, apple peels are also able to draw out a number of pollutants from dirty water. The peels can extract anions such as “phosphate, arsenate, arsenite, and chromate ions from aqueous solutions.” While the apple peels must first be treated with a zirconium oxide before they can effectively remove impurities from water, the wide prevalence of the fruit throughout the world means that it could also be used to treat drinking water on a large scale.

The newly designed water purification methods could prove revolutionary in the developing world. Many large scale treatment processes used in developed nations are simply inaccessible to the impoverished across the globe due to a lack of the financial capital needed to implement them. The process of purifying water by using tomato and apple peels mitigates the financial obstacle that prevents many in the developed world from having clean drinking water. Ramakrishna Mallampati hopes that by using his new purification process, those living in developing areas will be able to live healthier and more productive lives.

– Jordan Kline

Sources: ScienceDaily, Care2, National Academy of Sciences
Photo: She Knows