While people in the developed world are worrying about the potential for water shortages in the future, hundreds of millions of people in the developing world have never even had clean water in the first place. Access to clean water could alleviate major amounts of suffering by preventing the spread of tropical diseases and dramatically reducing the child mortality rate.
The resources already exist for providing clean water to everyone in the world. The only missing element is the desire of global powers to effectively manage and share water. I’ve collected some links to stories posted on PhysOrg over the past few months. These stories describe techniques for disinfecting and transporting water. This is just a brief selection of news regarding water technology. For people who want to conduct a more detailed review of the field, I’m sure that environmental engineering journals have much more information on techniques for providing greater access to clean water.
Important aspects of water access and safety are included in the following list, along with stories representative of each area of water quality. I found these stories by using the water tag on PhysOrg.
Monitoring and Security:
Many nonprofit organizations are working to provide clean sources of water to people in developing countries. The next step is to incentivize governments and businesses to care about water access and water quality. Simply wishing that everyone had clean water won’t accomplish anything. The key is to find ways for governments and businesses to benefit from considering water a basic human right. I have no idea how to structure those situations, but I have a hunch that the answer will be found in creating better incentives.