Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bad Water Is A No No

World Wide Water Quality Issues

There is a worldwide issue about water quality in potential drinking water resources increasing at an outstanding rate. About 1 billion people lack access to a safe drinking-water supply and about 2 million deaths annually attribute to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene according to WHO World Water Day 2010. The most affected countries are usually those in Africa and the Middle East (i.e. Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Chad, Cambodia, Laos, Haiti, Ghana, India, Rwanda, and Bangladesh) who are in dire need of clean water.

One major issue in the United States is the Flint Water Crisis in Michigan where the city of Flint switched their water resource from Detroit’s system of procuring water from Lake Huron to the Flint River in order to save money. The plan backfired as the water from the river was corrosive which lead to the contamination of lead into the supply and created a serious public health danger. There were tests on drinking water at various homes in Flint which showed extremely high levels of lead from 104 to 397 parts per billion via NY Times
Source: http://www.dogonews.com/2016/1/20/the-water-crisis-in-flint-michigan
The lead could potentially spread and expose people to Legionnaires’ disease (respiratory disease caused by Legionella bacteria which infects the lungs possibly causing pneumonia, shortness of breath, cough, muscle aches, and diarrhea). Water out of faucets came out in an orange color due to the erosion of the iron pipes. With the population in Flint about 100,000 civilians, millions of bottles of water needs to be shipped in in order for citizens to have clean drinking water for the time being. This also creates another environmental issue with the amount of empty water bottles and what to do with them (MLive).

Situations like the evaporating of Bolivia’s second largest lake, Lake Poopo, can force the government to change water resources like Flint, Michigan’s government did. The drying up of lakes does not only affect humans but also wildlife as well. With the water level being down to 2% of its former water level, field biologists say that about 75 species of birds have disappeared from the lake. 
The carcass of a bird on the dried ground of lake PoopĆ³.
The carcass of a bird on the dried ground of lake PoopĆ³.
 Photograph: David Mercado/Reuters

Hypotheses on why this could have happened are: increased water temperature, wind speed, and the amount of moisture in the air; but regardless of the reason, people’s livelihood have been affected from their use of the lake (The Guardian). The quantity of water relates directly to water quality because if a resource is used up, another has to be found to replace it and that new water resource may or may not be clean or purified enough to drink and utilize.

In Delhi, India about 70% of water in the capital is unfit to drink. The water is contaminated with sewage water and is very harmful to health. The population of Delhi is over 18 million people, which in terms of water quality is a major issue due to the extremely high population and the extremely high contamination percentage in the water. (India Today)

The amount of available drinkable water is one thing, the quality of that drinkable water is a major issue that the world will have to deal with in the near future as we try to not deplete our water supplies.