Issue: Safe Drinking Water When looking alot of the big issues within today’s environment I took great interest in safe drinking water. There is not that much of safe drinking water to efficiently hydrate every single person on the planet. Alot of third world countries, especially within Africa and Asia, have issues with their own water supplies being safe to drink. Now if there is safe enough water, they may not be readily available or within a close area to where people are living. One of the reasons why safe drinking water is such a high concern has to deal with the pollution in the water and what the pollution causes.
Research done by many organizations, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), have found out that over 75 percent of all diseases in developing countries arise from polluted drinking water. How and what are some of the solutions that are going to be taken into action? Many Organizations have taken the steps to working towards a solution and some even have already initiated their solutions. Some of the Organizations that have focused on the issues are: Global Water, EPA, TWAS, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Operation Safe Drinking Water.
To start off, I am going to introduce to you Global Water. Global Water is an international, non-profit, humanitarian organization. This organization was founded in 1982 and their primary focus started with creating safe water supplies, sanitation facilities, and hygiene-related facilities for rural villagers in developing countries. This volunteer-based organization has quite a few successful projects utilizing water and sanitation as a tool to create sustainable socioeconomic development in the poor rural villages. The organization became pretty successful base on their “Technology Push” program.
This program consisted of low-maintenance, state of the art, water equipment that would be used in the water, sanitation, and hygiene-related facilities. Not only were these devices low-maintenance, volunteer groups would reach out to the villagers and teach them how to use and maintain the devices. With this equipment the villages were able to access, purity, and distribute new sources of safe water. The water projects of Global Water have an immediate life-changing impact on the families of the villages. This Organization has been around for 25 years and has brought over 1. billion people safe drinking water and 769 million people sanitation facilities. This organization wasn’t always successful. The problems they had were not that many. The main issue was the size of the volunteer teams and the time and donations given. The speed of the process to reach such a number that they have today had taken over 2 decades to complete. Not nearly as fast as they wanted to do. If they were able to get larger teams and obtain more money, they could have saved more lives and put down for facilities for more poor communities. Next is the EPA.
EPA, also known as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, passed the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1974. The SDWA is the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans’ drinking water. Under this law, the EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees the state water suppliers who implement those standards. This policy was set in 1974 to ensure Americans receive high quality drinking water every day from a public water system. The reason mainly for the policy set was to ensure the safety of the Americans health.
There are over 160,000 public water systems, not including private systems, that provide the drinking water to almost all living Americans. There are a number of threats to drinking water in America due to the number of improperly disposed chemicals, animal wastes, pesticides, human wastes, and even wastes that have been injected deep underground. This policy controls any treatment use, chemical contaminants, underground injection control, and monitoring programs for all public water systems as well as some private water systems.
Unfortunately this does not include some well water systems that very few individuals have. Now passing this policy was not cheap. It has been estimated over a 5 billion dollars has already been spent since 2003 on the SDWA. The US EPA has taken a infrastructure survey, released in 2001, estimating that drinking water systems will need to invest about 150 billion over a 20-year period to ensure the continued development, storage, treatment, and distribution of safe drinking water. When the estimate was set down, many did agree that it was a conservative low estimate. Now we are coming to TWAS.
TWAS stands for Third World Academy of Sciences. TWAS is an international autonomous scientific organization dedicated to promoting scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable development. TWAS was founded in Italy, 1983. Since 1986, TWAS has supported scientific research in over 100 countries through a variety of programs with more than 2000 eminent scientists world-wide. What the scientists of TWAS were looking into different ways of using and recycling water that we already have. Now what they discovered is not the lack of freshwater in rural areas, but the access to the fresh water.
From there research, 77 percent of city and towns people have access to save drinking water, but only 17 percent of rural inhabitants have access in the Congo. Now this varies from one country to another, but all similar percentages for rural communities are still quite low. There were many solutions that had come about from TWAS, but some of the simple ones were for example, Pipeline water supplies. What I mean by that is innovative micro level methods to capture and harvest rainwater on rooftops, soak pits, and village ponds.
Not only did this ease the water-shortage problems, but it was an efficient starting method to obtaining water and used water treatment pills to make the water safe to drink. Next is UNICEF. UNICEF stands for The United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF works in over 190 countries to save and improve children’s lives by providing clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, health care, and emergency relief. UNICEF works towards the day when zero children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.
One of the solutions for safe drinking water that UNICEF has provided are simple plastic buckets and inexpensive water purification tablets that provide safe drinking water. Now this is just a temporary method versus some of the permanent ones. Alot of the challenges that were being faced for the UNICEF was mainly ways to build dams and other facilities on the rivers in remote communities. Unfortunately the lack funding came into play. The goal of UNICEF is to deliver over 15000 water buckets by this year and hoping to build water purification facilities in the remote communities.
Last but not least, Operation Safe Drinking Water. Operation Safe Drinking Water is a small charity that has been working to install rain-catchment systems for school systems in south and central America. This is probably the least effective system without purification. But the main goal for the charity was to prevent the communities and especially the young students to stop drinking the polluted waters of streams or contaminated wells. Not only did the sickness drop over 50% for absent rates, fewer students have gotten sick or missed any classes.
This is a newer all-volunteer group that has successfully helped over 50 schools with 500 or more students attending. This method is pretty effective only for preventing the drinking from the polluted streams and wells, but there is no purification system within the tanks that are provided. In conclusion, safe drinking water is probably one of the most important things within a humans life. It is a necessity. Without water, we cannot live. A human being can survive 3 days without water. Without safe water, a human being might only survive 3 days with some of the water sources that are only available to some.
With the progression of the different Organizations around the world, more and more areas are being either treated or in the process to being treated so that third world countries as well as even first rate countries have safe drinking water. Organizations today estimate that within the next 30 years, we could have over 60% of the third world countries converted to safe, treated, drinking water. References Bass, J. (n. d. ). The Solution. Operation Safe Drinking Water. Retrieved November 13, 2012, from operationsafedrinkingwater. org/the-solution Kuepper, T. (n. d. ). Water Shortage, Drinking Water Crisis Solutions.
Water Shortage, Drinking Water Crisis Solutions. Retrieved November 13, 2012, from http://www. globalwater. org/ Nybo, T. (n. d. ). Simple solutions to provide safe drinking water to remote communities in Haiti :: News from the Field :: Media Center :: U. S. Fund for UNICEF – UNICEF USA. Help Children :: Humanitarian Aid & Emergency Relief :: U. S. Fund for UNICEF – UNICEF USA. Retrieved November 13, 2012, from http://www. unicefusa. org/news/news-from-the-field/simple-solutions-help-provide-water-in-remote-areas-in-haiti. html Rao, C. (n. d. ). Safe Drinking Water a€” TWAS Portal. Welcome to TWAS a€” TWAS Portal. Retrieved November 14,