Lack of access to safe and potable drinking water, as well as inadequate sanitation, are serious challenges. These have far-reaching effects on health, the social welfare, economic development, and political stability.
Water-borne illnesses such as diarrhea, cholera and typhoid can spread if there is inadequate access to potable and clean water. These diseases can even be deadly. The risk of spreading disease is also increased by inadequate sanitation, particularly in heavily populated areas. World Health Organization estimates that 4.2 billion people do not have access to sanitation facilities and around 2.2 billion lack safe drinking water.
Water crisis affects every region of the globe, including developed and developing nations. Water crisis is exacerbated by climate change, population increase, and urbanization. These factors are increasing the demand for and straining of water. Water crisis is also a result of poor water management, insufficient infrastructure and inadequate investment.
Impact of water crisis goes beyond concerns about health. The lack of access to safe water and sanitation may also limit economic growth. Water scarcity may also lead to political instability as countries and communities compete over limited resources. This can result in conflicts about water rights.
Water crisis therefore is an international issue that calls for a collaborative response from government, international agencies, civil societies, and private sector. To address the water crisis, a holistic approach is needed that includes sustainable water management, investment in water infrastructure and access to potable and clean water for everyone.