Welcome to my Sustainable Water Solutions post!
First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Our actions have destroyed our beautiful earth. The problem of water pollution is widespread and it is jeopardizing our health and environment.
As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives.
These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family, and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green.
Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green!
Choose Sustainable Water...
Today, we are living in a fast-paced world surrounded by technology. Although I appreciate the perks of technology, at the same time, I think we have lost some essential human values.
I am an environmental enthusiast and advocate for clean, green, and healthy living. Everyone knows that our oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs are drowning in toxic chemicals, plastic, waste, and other environmental pollutants. No offense, but I believe we humans are responsible for everything going on in the world.
I have done extensive research on the water issues and what I found is alarming and frustrating. We truly don’t deserve to live on earth. It is because we can’t take care of it.
Unsafe water is killing more people than wars and other forms of violent activities. But please don't think that I am excusing those activities either. The drinkable sources of water are finite. Less than 1% of freshwater on earth is accessible to human beings.
A recent report by the WHO highlighted that appropriate actions are required. Otherwise, the challenges will increase by 2050.
By then, the demand for freshwater on a global scale will be one-third greater. Again, I must say it is an alarming situation and we (human beings) are sleeping. This is sad!
Sip a glass of clear, cool water as you read my article, and you might think water pollution is a huge issue somewhere else and not in the United States.
Well, most people in the U.S think they have access to clean and safe water as compared to other countries of the world, the truth is that Americans have access to water with potentially harmful contaminants.
Research shows that water in the U.S contains copper, arsenic, lead, and other harmful elements, which has contaminated the tap water throughout the country.
We need to adopt eco-friendly practices and make sustainable development to protect our water resources.
Did You Know?
Let me give you some facts about the problem of water contamination and pollution.
You may not know but over 1.6 billion people live in river basins. The use of water exceeds recharge, which leads to rivers’ desiccation, groundwater depletion, and ecosystem degradation.
Countries are developing and pollutions are growing, right? The water demand globally is projected to increase by 60% by 2050. Two-thirds of the population will live in water-stressed countries by 2025.
This is happening if countries follow the current consumption patterns. Besides, the economic loss as a result of inadequate water delivery and sanitation is estimated to 2% of the gross domestic product, especially in African countries.
According to the estimates of WHO, the majority of the countries have poor water management systems and they discharge 85% of wastewater without treatment.
So much so, you will be surprised to know that water-related calamities are socially and economically destructive of all-natural disasters.
Not only unsafe water is bad for human health, but it is also hazardous for our environment. Water contamination is drastically destabilizing our ecosystems.
Impacts on Human Health...
I will talk straightforward and I must say this clearly “water contamination is deadly” and “water pollution is killing us.” In 2018, it caused 2 million deaths.
Water pollution can make people ill. Unsafe water causes a wide range of health conditions and every year, around 579 million people across the globe get sick due to contaminated water.
Sadly, low-income communities are inexplicably at risk as their houses are often close to the industries causing water contamination in various forms.
Waterborne pathogens such as viruses and bacteria from human and animal waste lead to major causes of health conditions.
Acute and Chronic Diseases...
I have reviewed dozens of research studies, reports by National Geographic, WHO, CDC, FDA, EPA, the UN, and other global agencies working on the issues.
I found that unsafe water is causing a wide variety of deadly diseases such as typhoid, giardia, and cholera. You may not know but these diseases have caused the death of billions of people across the world for the last 4-5 decades.
In advanced countries like the U.S, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Canada, etc. illegal or accidental release of water from sewage treatment plants and runoff from urban areas and farms highly contribute to the development of harmful pathogens in waterways.
In the U.S, every year, thousands of people get sick from Legionnaires disease. It is a more life-threatening form of pneumonia, which is contracted from sources of water like piped water and cooling towers.
Contaminated water contains a lot of harmful chemicals and pollutants dangerous for human health. For instance, from mercury to arsenic to nitrate fertilizers to pesticides – all of them are getting into water supplies. So, when you ingest these elements or compounds, you will get sick.
Deteriorated Human Health...
Contaminate water causes hormone disruption in both women and men, cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, imbalanced homeostasis, liver problems, and above all the altered brain function. Pregnant women and children are likewise at greater risk.
Swimming can also pose a risk. According to the EPA, around 4 million people in the U.S contract health problems such as respiratory infections, pink eye, skin rashes, and hepatitis every year from sewage laden waters.
Impacts on the Environment...
Healthy ecosystems depend entirely on a complex web of plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc. These organisms interact, indirectly or directly, with each other.
Do you know the repercussions of harming these organisms? It can cause a chain effect and imperil the aquatic environment.
Water pollution can cause an algee bloom in Marine or Lake Environment, the proliferation of new nutrients can stimulate algae and plant growth. This can reduce levels of oxygen in the water.
Scientifically, this phenomenon is called eutrophication, which means a deficiency of oxygen. It can suffocate animals and plants. Simply put, it is creating dead zones drastically. Scientists have bad news for us, i.e. aquatic areas devoid of life drastically.
In certain situations, the harmful algal blooms produce neurotoxins, which affect our wildlife animals, for instance, from large sea animals like whales to smaller ones like sea turtles.
Heavy metals and chemicals from municipal and industrial wastewater contaminate waterways. These contaminants and pollutants are toxic to our marine life, reducing the life span of organisms and their ability to reproduce. For example, big fish accumulate greater quantities of harmful toxins, such as mercury.
Marine debris threatens marine ecosystems, which can suffocate and starve marine aquatic life. The solid debris including soda cans and plastic bags can sweep into storm drains and sewers and out to the sea eventually. This turns oceans and seas into trash soup. We often see garbage patches in seas. Moreover, discarded fishing gear is harming over 800 marine life species.
Ocean acidification makes it difficult for coal and shellfish to survive. Although these species can absorb a quarter of nitrogen and carbon pollution, which is created by burning fuels every year, oceans and seas are becoming more and more acidic.
The process of ocean acidification makes it even harder for marine species including shellfish to build shells. Likewise, the acidification severely impacts the nervous system of marine species including clownfish and sharks.
What's the Solution?
To overcome the problem of water contamination and pollution, we need sustainable water management. Sustainable water use is the only solution to this issue. The term “sustainable water use” means adequate access to clean and safe water. Simply put, it is all about making nations water self-sufficient.
Sustainable Water Use...
The purpose of water sustainability is to ensure access to enough water. This allows people to meet their multiple needs. For instance, we can meet the requirements of municipal, agricultural, and industrial sectors.
Also, it means the consistency of water supply despite the impact of climate change such as droughts or lack of rainfalls. Sustainable water use likewise means meeting the supply and demand of water. This strategy allows us to efficiently carry out water delivery processes.
Meanwhile, water sustainability focuses on energy neutrality by combining conventional water treatment methods with renewable energies. I will talk about sustainable water use in detail in the following sections. Continue reading!
What is Water Sustainiblity?
Water Sustainability refers to meeting the water needs of people without comprising the future generations. For this, we need a holistic and multidisciplinary method to adequately address economic, technical, environmental, societal, landscape aesthetics, and cultural issues.
Globally, when we have sustainable water management, it will help us provide people with affordable access to 20-50 liters to each person. This is the daily water requirement needed for life sustenance.
According to the UN authorities, the right to clean and safe drinking water is essential for human life. It is the right of every human being to access safe and clean water. This is essential to sustain life. Without sustainable water use, human beings won’t survive.
We need holistic and effective water resource management. Currently, there are multiple demands on resources of water, which drive us to have holistic, integrated, and sustainable water management.
A sustainable water cycle is important. It can help people meet their requirements for water and sewerage services. At the same time, it will enable our future generations to meet their needs.
According to the EPA, there is a need for appropriate planning and strategy for water/wastewater systems. This way, we can manage the water utilities, the associated infrastructure, and operations to meet the needs of communities. Here are a few benefits of Sustainable water use.
- Sustainable water use optimizes social, economic, and environmental aspects. We need to set objectives and select projects through an inclusive and transparent process with the community.
- Sustainable water use provides consistency across a wide range of alternatives, which address both community and utility goals.
- Sustainable water use enhances the long-term managerial, financial, and technical capacity of the water utility.
Usually, water utilities have a long-term infrastructure strategy and maintenance commitments. So much so, the authorities realize the costs and benefits of investment decisions over a long time.
According to the EPA, countries need a sustainable policy on drinking and wastewater systems. It is important for comprehensive and robust planning to make sure the implementation of cost-effective water infrastructures.
This helps us optimize the lifecycle of water, effective resource planning, and consistency with relevant community goals. It is important to know that between utilities, there is a variation of water sustainability levels.
Some communities and utilities are implementing sustainability considerations into the planning processes. However, they are likewise looking for other ways to boost and refine their efforts.
Hygienic sanitation, safe water supplies, and appropriate water management are essential to global health. We can prevent global diseases by:
- Providing adequate access to clean and safe drinking water.
- Improving hygiene and sanitation.
- Enhancing water quality management to decrease the risks of water-borne diseases.
According to the EPA, safe water can prevent:
- 500,000 million Child deaths from malaria.
- 1.5 million Deaths from diarrhea.
- 1 million deaths from malnutrition.
- 285,000 deaths from drowning.
In general, health benefits for human beings include:
- Improved physical performance.
- Boosted Brain Functions.
- Elevated Energy Levels
- Kidney Stones Prevention
- Homeostatic Maintenance
- Healthy Heart and Liver
The human body is composed of 60% of water, which means each cell, tissue, and organ can't carry out their functions with insufficient water supplies.
Imagine the existence of contaminated water in your body, it will weaken your immune system, disrupt cellular mechanisms, affect the brain’s neural networks, and deteriorate coordination among the vital organs.
It can even cause skin infections, weaken your muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, everything. So, you must understand the importance of clean and safe water.
We must follow the strategy of reducing, reuse, and recycle. It is important for sustainable water use. Along with providing a dependable and locally-controlled supply of water, reusing, or recycling water provides amazing environmental benefits.
People need an additional water source. Water reuse and recycle help us find different ways to reduce water diversion from sensitive ecosystems. Other advantages include reducing wastewater discharges and decreasing or preventing pollution.
We can also adopt the practice of sustainable water use to create and enhance riparian and wetlands habitats.
Support Sensitive Ecosystems...
Wildlife, fish, plants depend on water flows to living and reproduce in their habitats. The lack of sufficient flow due to diversion for urban, industrial, and agricultural purposes, can lead to deterioration of the quality of water and ecosystem health.
Sustainable water use helps us supplement people's demands by using a sophisticated source or reusable and