Water is essential to life, but even in the 21st century, there are millions of people that lack access to this fundamental resource. What’s more, a new World Bank report has revealed there is an invisible crisis of water quality taking place, which is threatening human and environmental well-being and eliminating one-third of potential economic growth in heavily polluted areas.
The Invisible Water Crisis report, published on August 20, shows how a combination of bacteria, sewage, chemicals, and plastics can suck oxygen from water supplies and transform water into poison for people and ecosystems.
“Clean water is a key factor for economic growth. Deteriorating water quality is stalling economic growth, worsening health conditions, reducing food production, and exacerbating poverty in many countries,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said in the release.
The world faces an invisible crisis — losing enough food each year to saline #water to feed 170 MILLION people. Learn about the problem & solutions https://t.co/5eAn66PGxW #QualityUnknown #GWSP
— World Bank (@WorldBank) August 20, 2019
For better quality, sanitation and drinking water investments should be done, both in developing countries and the developed ones. Polluted water cannot be used for drinking, bathing, industry or agriculture, and according to the United Nations, pollution is one of the most dangerous causes affecting the water quality.
Industry and mining exacerbate the problem, but agriculture too – nitrogen is the most common chemical contaminant in the world’s groundwater aquifers. Infrastructure affects water quality as well, along with climate change that has increased the frequency of flooding and droughts.
According to the World Bank, an immediate global, national and local action is needed to address the water crisis in developing and developed countries.
“Their governments must take urgent actions to help tackle water pollution so that countries can grow faster in equitable and environmentally sustainable ways,” Malpass said.
Overlooked Crisis: Drinking Water Contamination Widespread in US