Around 2.1 billion people in the world have no access to clean and potable water, reports said. This piece of information is trivia for public school students, but it is a reality that children in Africa live through every single day. The lack of safe drinking water puts their lives in danger. But we don’t even have to go that far. Even in your own neighborhood, there are outbreaks that can’t be explained. People get exposed to harmful bacteria through the water that they drink. The sad part is that we are not fully aware of the devastating effect of water pollution and the simple lack of clean water can have in all our lives.
Every living thing—man or plant—has the right to access clean and safe water. And yet because of politics, inequality, and other social problems, water quality is not a topic you will usually find in political agendas. This is not even an issue that politicians tackle during election season. So, why is this important and how can get access to clean and safe water?
Where Does Drinking Water Come From?
In rural areas, drinking water comes from the ground through building a water well. Water from the well is generally considered safe for drinking although it pays to have the water tested and filtered. This ensures that no bacteria are there that can be harmful to you and your family’s health. Testing should be done at least once a year. If you can manage to have it tested twice a year, that’s even better.
In urban areas, water comes from lakes, rivers, and groundwater that passes through a treatment plant before it is released to various pipe systems. These pipes are part of a whole system that connects residential and commercial areas. Although water from this method is treated, it’s also best to have water filtering systems in your own homes.
Human and Animal Health
The impact of water pollution on human and animal health cannot be underscored enough. Disease-causing contaminants such as bacteria and harmful elements found in water such as iron, sulfur, nitrates, chlorine, and other chemical spill-offs can have a devastating and long-lasting effect on the health of consumers. It can cause developmental delays in children, making it hard for them to keep up in school. Studies showed that lack of nutrients and the presence of contaminants found in drinking water around the globe can affect the ability of kids to learn.
Animals on the farm, as well as wildlife, may also perish because of poor water quality. Whole species of animals can get obliterated because they do not have access to clean and potable water. From pet dogs to aquatic life, no animal is safe from contaminated water. And when animals die, it affects the entire food chain. It is, after all, a circle of life, remember?
Agriculture, tourism, food security, manufacturing, paper mills, and power plants are all dependent on clean water. These industries will not progress without access to quality water. Even in real estate, clean water has a huge impact. How can you sell a beachfront property, for example, if the coastline is littered with garbage?
When these industries suffer, so do the people who work for them. Companies will begin losing revenues. As a result, they will try to compensate by laying off employees and reducing compensation benefits. Once the people are out of work or have fewer earnings because of reduced hours, then they don’t have money to pay for rent, utilities, and other basic needs. They can’t help keep the economy moving if they don’t have jobs.
Taxpayers Are Shelling out Money for It
Access to water quality is part of what taxpayers are paying taxes for. Municipalities, local government units, and counties are responsible for improving water quality. If communities don’t take them up on this responsibility, then who will? Many other things are happening, so it’s easy to forget this one basic thing that the government has to solve. Clean drinking water must reach every household because if water quality declines, then even more money has to go to address the problem.
Do not forget that part of being in a community is ensuring access to safe drinking water. It’s not only so kids will grow up smarter, more developed, and readier for what lies ahead in the real world. It’s also for adults, so they can be healthy members of society. This will allow them to contribute to the growth of society and make a difference in the lives of generations of young people who will one day chart their own paths.