The water crisis of this generation is no longer an issue of scarcity, but of access. At present, 87 per cent of the world’s population, or roughly 5.9 billion people, are fortunate enough to have access to an improved source of drinking water. However, that is still approximately one of eight people lacking access to safe drinking water supplies.
In communities around the world, the risk for water system contamination remains, commonly caused by increasing urbanization, industrialization, and poor sanitation. The pollution of water systems with human, agricultural, and industrial wastes is making safe and clean drinking water increasingly harder to come by.
More so, in lesser developed countries and low-income settings where water sources are far from people’s homes, the improper method of water collection and storage reduces the quality of drinking water, defeating the purpose of having improved water sources in communities.
To date, around 3.575 million people die each year from waterborne diseases. The water and sanitation crisis in afflicted areas continually claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.
To protect and promote public health, it is critical to provide safe and accessible drinking water. To prevent the spread of waterborne diseases, continuous development of innovative technologies and management strategies must be put in place to ensure the provision of clean and good quality drinking water for citizens.
In cases where water is available but is contaminated or unsafe for human consumption, like when water system providers or regulators fail to comply with water safety regulations, simple solutions can be implemented at the household level to address the problem.
Household water treatment or home water purification systems are now considered as one of the most efficient and affordable means of having access to safe drinking water. This filtration technology can reduce diarrheal disease by as much as 47 per cent.
Besides having access to convenient and practical source of daily drinking water, home water purification systems can prove useful specially in preventing the spread of waterborne diseases during emergencies and epidemics, which involve fecal contamination of water systems. The widespread use of quality home water purification systems can help provide communities a sustainable access to affordable but safe drinking water.