Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink. This is a common saying that is becoming increasingly relevant here on our planet. For the most part, North American’s still have relatively easy access to clean, fresh drinking water. Developing nations do not often realize this luxury. The following are facts about global water quality.
Global Water Quality Facts
- Even though 70% of Earth is covered in water, only 2.5% of that water is fresh water.
- The biggest global water quality problem is eutrophication (high nutrient content due to run-off from agriculture and domestic sewage).
- About 1 billion people in developing countries do not have access to safe drinking water.
The destruction of aquatic ecosystem health, and the increasing water scarcity, are in my opinion the most pressing environmental problems facing human kind.– Maude Barlow
- Inadequate sanitation practices result in the worst forms of water pollution.
- A child dies every 15 seconds from contaminated water.
- 15% of yearly child deaths are due to diarrea caused by poor water hygiene.
- 18% of the global population defecates in the open.
- Every day, 2 million tonnes of sewage, agricultural and industrial waste is dumped into the world’s waters.
- 70% of industrial waste is dumped into nearby water bodies.
- 14 billion pounds of garbage, most of it plastic, is dumped into the ocean yearly.
- Plastic waste is most likely responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 sea mammals, birds and fish.
- Only 10-12% of Latin America’s waste water is treated properly.
- After the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, the government dumped 2 million gallons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean.
- London England’s sewage system ejects raw sewage into the Thames River after only 2 mm or more rain per hour.
- 40% of America’s rivers and 46% of its lakes are polluted enough to be unhealthy for swimming and fishing.
Ross, Nancy. World Water Quality Facts And Statistics. March 22 2010. World Water Day 2010. August 12, 2014
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. International Decade for Action’Water for Life’ 2005-2015. August 11, 2014. UN Water. August 12, 2014.
[otw_shortcode_info_box border_type=”border-top-bottom” border_style=”bordered” icon_type=”general foundicon-heart” border_color=”#ff954a” icon_color=”#ffce78″]Water quality is a vital issue world wide. Water that looks clean can be harboring dangerous toxins and microbes causing illness in millions of people. Change can start at home with our own wise use of water. What measures do you take to conserve our precious resource?[/otw_shortcode_info_box]