How to provide the population with clean water

Ways of minimizing risks of water deficiency

A deficit of fresh wa­ter is a prob­lem that has been fa­mil­iar to hu­man­i­ty since an­cient times. Start­ing from the last decades of the past cen­tu­ry, this is­sue has been re­gard­ed by sci­en­tists as a glob­al prob­lem. The plan­et’s pop­u­la­tion is con­stant­ly in­creas­ing, and at the same time the scale of wa­ter con­sump­tion is in­creas­ing. How can the in­hab­i­tants of the Earth be pro­vid­ed with clean wa­ter? This ar­ti­cle will help to an­swer this ques­tion.

Caus­es of the wa­ter deficit

Ev­ery sixth per­son on the plan­et faces a short­age of wa­ter. The fol­low­ing fac­tors have led to this:

• de­vel­op­ment of ur­ban­iza­tion;

• the in­crease in the world’s pop­u­la­tion;

• ac­cel­er­a­tion of glob­al changes to the cli­mate;

• a wors­en­ing of the eco­log­i­cal sit­u­a­tion;

• an in­creased need for us­ing wa­ter in in­dus­try.

Pro­vid­ing wa­ter for the world’s pop­u­la­tion

The world ocean ac­counts for 96% of the wa­ter mass of the plan­et. Fresh wa­ter sup­plies make up just 4% of to­tal wa­ter sup­plies. At the same time, drink­ing wa­ter is dis­trib­uted very un­even­ly through­out the con­ti­nents and coun­tries of the world – this has af­fect­ed the abil­i­ty for hu­man­i­ty to sur­vive in dif­fer­ent parts of the plan­et, and the qual­i­ty of peo­ple’s lives.

Water while waiting Africans [Deposit Photos]

Fresh wa­ter, with­out which life is im­pos­si­ble, is an in­valu­able re­source for hu­man­i­ty, and both poor and de­vel­oped coun­tries are equal when faced with a deficit of it.

What a lack of wa­ter leads to

One fifth of the world’s pop­u­la­tion lives in re­gions with a se­vere short­age of fresh wa­ter. One quar­ter of the world’s pop­u­la­tion lives in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries which face a short­age of drink­ing wa­ter be­cause of the lack of in­fra­struc­ture and the im­pos­si­bil­i­ty of col­lect­ing wa­ter from fresh bod­ies of wa­ter.

Con­se­quences of a short­age of drink­ing wa­ter:

• it be­comes im­pos­si­ble to ob­serve rules of hy­giene;

• dis­eases de­vel­op;

• liv­ing con­di­tions wors­en;

• de­hy­dra­tion;

• death.

Solv­ing the prob­lem of the wa­ter deficit

To pro­vide peo­ple with clean wa­ter, a se­ries of mea­sures are re­quired.

1. Sup­ply­ing wa­ter to pop­u­lat­ed ar­eas di­rect­ly de­pends on the qual­i­ty and state of wa­ter pipe­line sys­tems. Old pipes pol­lute thou­sands of cu­bic me­ters of clean wa­ter. Sci­en­tists and en­gi­neers are de­vel­op­ing projects for new im­proved wa­ter pipe­line sys­tems. Nanofibers and nanopipes made on a car­bon base are used to make them. Fac­to­ries con­stant­ly in­stall pipes of high­ly durable cast iron with a spe­cial graphite struc­ture which pre­vents wa­ter pol­lu­tion.

Molecular structure of carbon nanotube [Deposit Photos]

2. To pre­serve sup­plies of clean wa­ter, we must ful­fill out the ac­cept­ed world en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions. Peo­ple will not aban­don the ma­jor­i­ty of plants of chem­i­cal, heavy and light in­dus­try, but these plants must use mod­ern clean­ing sys­tems to min­i­mize the risk of pol­lut­ing the en­vi­ron­ment with waste.

3. Part of the nat­u­ral in­fra­struc­ture is the forests of the plan­et, which hold and pro­tect wa­ter. For this rea­son, it is ra­tio­nal to build re­serves with drink­ing wa­ter in for­est ar­eas. Forests also reg­u­late the lev­el of ground wa­ters and stop soil ero­sion, and re­duce the con­se­quences of floods. The USA, Sin­ga­pore, South Africa and Spain take a large amount of drink­ing wa­ter from for­est zones – this ex­pe­ri­ence should be adopt­ed by oth­er na­tions.

4. A pu­rifi­ca­tion pro­gram will help to pre­serve sup­plies of drink­ing wa­ter. There are two meth­ods of de­con­tam­i­nat­ing harm­ful mix­tures. The chem­i­cal method is used in­creas­ing­ly rarely in de­vel­oped coun­tries, and the phys­i­cal method of wa­ter pu­rifi­ca­tion is em­ployed in­stead with spe­cial mem­brane tech­nolo­gies. For ex­am­ple, in Japan rain wa­ter is used, which is ster­il­ized by ozoniza­tion. There are also sim­ple ways to ob­tain pure wa­ter at home — click here to see these meth­ods.

"Temple of pure water" in Japan [Deposit Photos]

Ex­pert pre­dic­tions

Sup­plies of clean wa­ter are con­stant­ly de­creas­ing. Stud­ies con­firm that in 2025 the ma­jor­i­ty of the world’s coun­tries will ex­pe­ri­ence a deficit of drink­ing wa­ter, or face a se­vere short­age of the re­source. In 2030 the threat of a wa­ter deficit will af­fect 47% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion. By 2050 the pop­u­la­tion of de­vel­op­ing coun­tries where there is al­ready a se­vere short­age of fresh wa­ter will in­crease sig­nif­i­cant­ly, ag­gra­vat­ing the prob­lem.

The first to face a deficit of fresh wa­ter will be the pop­u­la­tions of South Asia, Africa, North Ko­rea and the Mid­dle East. The com­plex eco­log­i­cal sit­u­a­tion will lead to the mi­gra­tion of 24 to 700 mil­lion peo­ple. Ur­gent mea­sures aimed at pu­ri­fy­ing wa­ter and pre­serv­ing wa­ter re­sources will help to solve this prob­lem.