There are some surprising and quite scary facts about the state of the world’s drinking water that everyone needs to know about. As the world’s population grows and so do industries, the demand for resources, especially water, are increasing.
On top of the demands placed on water due to population growth, water is becoming more polluted than ever. Heavy metals, chemicals, sediments, bacteria, parasites, chlorine, herbicides, mould, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, tri-halomethanes, particulates and more are entering our waterways and polluting our drinking water. If that alone has not shocked you about the safety of your tap water, here are 7 more scary facts:
- 1.2 Billion People Worldwide Are Exposed To Faeces In Drinking Water
According to the world health organization, over 10% of the world’s population is exposed to faeces in drinking water (1). Faecal pollution can originate from wastewater treatment facilities, meat industry runoff, septic tanks, wild animals and domestic animals (2). Faecal matter in public water can cause diseases and development problems in children.
- 2.83% Of The World’s Water Contains Plastic
Each year the world produces 300 million tons of plastic, and 8 million tons of this is dumped into the oceans (3). Plastic eventually breaks down and small plastic particles infiltrate all aspects of the environment, including food and waterways (4). A study conducted by Orb found that 94% of the tap water in the USA and 83% of the world’s tap water is contaminated by plastic (5).
- 3.Water Pipes In Older Areas Are Rusting
After water is treated and purified, it then travels to your tap through new pipes or pipelines laid out decades ago. These aging pipelines were made with iron, copper or galvanized steel. However over time these pipes rust and leak hazardous chemicals like lead into your water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 10 million homes in the United States receive water from lead contaminated pipes (6). Lead poisoning is a serious health risk and in children it can cause a variety of developmental problems. Rusting pipelines are a worldwide problem.
- 4.2 Billion People Worldwide Lack Safe Drinking Water
According to the United Nations, three in ten people worldwide lack basic drinking water services or safe drinking water. In 2017, the UN “called on countries to do more to fulfil these basic human needs” (7). For the majority of North Americans, safe drinking water is readily available, however for over 150 First Nations this is not the case, as they are still exposed to contaminated water (8).
- 5.Unclean Drinking Water Is the Prime Cause Of Infectious Diseases
Contaminated drinking water is one of the fastest ways diseases are transmitted and transported. Diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio are just a few water born diseases. Diarrhoea is one of the worst, causing over 500,000 deaths each year (9).
- 6.60,000 Chemicals Are Not Regulated By The EPA
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. There are, however, over 60,000 chemicals that are still used by a variety of industries in the USA. Many of these chemicals are known to cause cancer and diseases (10).
- 7.50% Of The World Will Be Living In Water-Stressed Areas By 2025
The future is looking gloomy according to the World Health Organisation. By 2025 at least 50% of the world will be living in a water-stressed area. Climate change, pollution, population growth, water scarcity, demographic changes, increased agriculture, and urbanisation are all factors leading to this problem (11).
What Can Be Done?
Being water conscious is the best way to save water. Installing a rainwater tank in your home and lobbying local governments to recycle water are two great ways to save water in your area.
You can also purchase a filtration system for your home to filter all the nasties from your tap water. Santevia’s Gravity Water System adds calcium, magnesium and other beneficial minerals back into the water, and has been independently tested to reduce chlorine, bacteria, mould, heavy metals, industrial chemicals and agricultural contaminants. The result: you and your family benefit from clean, eco-friendly, cost effective and mineralized alkaline water. It will be a clean difference you can taste!