Water is a valuable resource that is the key to sustaining life. As water becomes more valuable and scarcity increases, conflict, death, and disease are also by-product of water and it’s influence. In less fortunate countries, the battle for not just water, but clean water, is truly a matter of life and death. As the world population continues to grow and access to clean water becomes increasingly difficult, we examined the power of clean water and why it’s important. Clean water can:
1. Improve water supply quality, sanitation and hygiene
Clean water can, by itself, reduce water-related deaths by 21%. Add in sanitation and hand washing and those numbers skyrocket.
2. Reduce death and disease
Every week 30,000 people die from unsafe water and poor living conditions.
3. Increase the amount of healthy food available
Healthy food, better grown food means healthier and better fed populations.
4. Reduce conflict
Many bodies of water are shared by multiple nations and that means conflict. If we can improve the clean water supply we will reduce conflict.
5. Gender equality
In Africa alone women do 90% of wood and water gathering, taking up to 6 hours out of each day. Improved access to water can mean girls attending school instead of long walks to water.
6. Better school attendance
One study in Africa found cutting travel time to water from 30 minutes to 15 meant a 12% increase in girls attending school.
7. Improve poor communities
Less time fetching water means women contribute more to impoverished communities.
8. Reduce pollution
9. Protect biodiversity
10. Climate change impact
To learn more about the life-changing abilities of clean water, checkout the infographic below created by Ohio University Online.
SOURCE: The Ohio University Online Master of Science in Civil Engineering program