September 16, 2019
 In Articles

United Nations Environmental Programme

Access to Water 

United Kingdom 

Gabby Flint 

Mattawan High School 


The human body can withstand three days without water and needs water not only for hygiene but for the most simple form of human functioning.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 700 million people worldwide lack access to a proper water source. More than 35% of the world’s population have an absence of sufficient water sanitation. These people are being forced to use water from rivers and springs that are often used as a dumping ground for waste products of surrounding power plants, factories, and villages. Without proper water sanitation, the risk of dehydration, multiple diseases, and death runs high. When the United Nations established the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, it established the goal of gaining clean drinking water for everyone as soon as the 2030’s. This caused the pressure for achieving clean water for all has become as important as ever. It’s a crisis that can no longer be forgotten as its effects can either destroy or save the human population. 


In 2017, 55% of the rivers in the United Kingdom were found to be polluted with sewage. These rivers are a main source of water for the UK, and the pollution of sewage poses a large issue on the access to clean water for UK citizens. The United Kingdom strongly believes in the principle that every human has the right to clean water. The UK had found that tight control and monitoring of what can access into rivers and lakes allows every UK citizen access to clean and sanitary water.  The 21st Century Drainage Programme, created to combat sewage pollution in rivers, aims to tightly monitor sewer systems in hopes of finding possible leakage to prevent contamination of the United Kingdom’s water supply. The programme’s efforts have benefically impacted the country’s agriculture. For example, wheat is a lucrative export for the UK, and a clean water supply is critical for wheat’s growth. If the United Kingdom had a unsanitized water supply, the value of exports would decrease, making the value of imports higher. This imbalance would result in a negative net export, meaning that the GDP for the UK would be lower. The 21st Century Drainage Programme aids the United Kingdom in staying on track of keeping a clean water supply; henceforth, it provides every citizen access to clean and sanitary water.  


United Kingdom proposes to the committee that policies be set in place for every nation to have an organization that is responsible for monitoring the country’s water supply cleanliness. Every single member nation of the UN should be involved in this issue as it affects all nations even if the water sanitation issue is present within a nation on the other side of the globe. This course of action would ensure that the basic human right to clean and sanitized. The creation of such organization would create a plentiful amount of jobs, which would in turn boost the nation’s economy. These organizations would also help support each of the lucrative sectors in every nation, as it has done within the United Kingdom.  UK is also open to giving aid to countries who are unable to clean up their water supplies. The United Kingdom hopes for open collaboration from all countries in committee to find a solution that will give access to clean water to all.


  • Gabby Flint

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