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Why is Water Purification Important?

When we turn on the tap, we don’t think of how we get clean drinking water. But in reality, the process is quite complicated. Further, those of us who do have access to potable tap water is quite privileged. Over 2 billion people (if not more), do not. So how did we get so lucky as to have access to clean water? Through water purification, which public services agencies conduct! Let’s see why water purification is so crucial for global health, and more.

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What is water purification?

Most of the water that we consume comes from natural water sources. These include groundwater, lakes, basins, rivers, and so on. This water is not safe for people to consume since it contains a lot of organic and inorganic materials. These can carry bacteria, parasites, or viruses that could make people sick.

So, most countries have set up water purification plants that rid the water of these harmful compounds. Sometimes, individuals or households also use water purification methods to access safe drinking water.

Why is it important to purify water?


1. Global health

The first and foremost reason for water purification is global health. Consuming contaminated water is extremely dangerous. Today, 71% of the population has access to clean drinking water, but that means that nearly 1 in 4 individuals do not.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this can cause various health issues, including the 1.8 million people who die from diarrheal diseases each year. Research has also linked the consumption of contaminated water to cancer, cardiovascular problems, asthma, congenital disabilities, and several other conditions.

2. Medical Uses

Clean water with absolutely no contaminants is also vital for medical procedures. Any contamination can lead to the patient’s death. That’s because their immune system is already weak, meaning that any additional issues would be challenging to address. Further, contaminated water could result in dirty tools for surgeries, infections, and a faster spread of disease.

3. Industrial applications

Certain types of industries need purified water to function. For example, the food industry needs purified water. Otherwise, there could be cross-contamination of foods during the manufacturing process. Another example is the pharmaceutical industry or any other industry that involves human consumption.

4. Humanitarian Aid

During crises, there is often water contamination. For example, flooding can cause sewage issues, and therefore, hygiene and sanitation become extremely important. A hurricane might impact the delivery of tap water, so people do not have access. In an earthquake, infrastructures fail, and temporary shelter may not provide access to natural water sources.

As such, it is imperative for the aid sector to have access to water purification methods. Sometimes, it merely means the portable water filters, water purification tablets, or drops. By purifying and distributing clean water, aid workers can prevent disease outbreaks.

5. Areas with lack of infrastructure

Small scale water purification is also crucial in areas with a lack of infrastructure. Hard-to-reach locations may not have the typical public support that purifies water. The WHO estimates that 785 million people do not have access to any basic drinking-water service.

In these cases, small water purification systems are critical to protecting people from health issues. Humanitarians, development workers, and other travelers also need to bring their water purification systems with them if visiting these areas. These solutions might include water purification travel bottles, tablets, drops, or portable filtration systems.

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