1. Improve Water Supply Quality, Sanitation, and Hygiene
More clean water allows people to experience a cleaner, more sanitary life. This cleanliness can reduce exposure to diseases caused by unclean water or poor hygienic conditions.
2. Reduce Death and Disease
Roughly 80% of illnesses in developing countries are attributed to unclean water and poor sanitation. Access to clean water can drastically lower the number of water-related diseases, particularly in children.
3. Increase the Amount of Healthy Food Available
Improving access to clean water strengthens crops, which can produce a greater abundance of food. As the population increases globally, this can help lower the scourge of residual threats such as increased hunger.
4. Reduce Conflict
Since bodies of water can form international borders, they can sometimes be a critical cause of conflict between warring nations. Having improved access to clean water may make communities less reliant on these waters, which could provide one less reason for conflicts to erupt.
5. Gender Equality
Women and girls are charged with gathering water in 80% of homes with off-premise water. Clean water access can minimize this task, giving females more time for school.
6. Better School Attendance
Gathering water can collectively cost African women and girls more than 40 billion hours of time per year. Clean water in a community can cause this time to be redistributed for education, work, and personal development.
7. Improve Poor Communities
Access to clean water reduces the amount of time needed to gather water. This time could be better spent growing food, pursuing an education, and finding paid work, all of which could help impoverished communities lower poverty rates and spur economic growth.
8. Reduce Pollution
Poor wastewater management can produce an increase in polluted water, which could spread and contaminate consumable water supplies. Providing more efficient, effective ways to decrease the spread of pollution can help keep the water clean.
9. Protect Biodiversity
Clean water doesn’t just benefit humans. It helps preserve fully functioning ecosystems, from animals that thrive in freshwater environments to natural vegetation that needs clean water to grow.
10. Climate Change Impact
The weather disruptions caused by climate change can potentially cause an increased level of serious droughts, which could disrupt the water cycle and make gathering water significantly more difficult. Providing access to clean water can help communities get ahead of this burgeoning issue.
To learn more, check out the infographic below created by Ohio University’s Online Masters of Civil Engineering program.
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CNA, The Role of Water Stress in Instability and Conflict
Convention of on Biological Diversity, Water and Biodiversity
National Geographic, How Climate Change Impacts Water Access
NCBI, Injury Prevention and Environmental Health. 3rd Edition, Chapter 9: Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene
United Nations Foundation, Tapping the Benefits of Clean Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
UN Water, Water and Gender
UN Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
The Water Project, Health and Water
We are Water Foundation, Water and Sanitation For Gender Equality
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