ACCESS TO WATER
Troy High School
Today, more than 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation and at least 663 million do not have access to safe drinking water. Poor sanitation, water, and hygiene lead to about 675,000 premature deaths annually and estimated annual economic losses of up to seven percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in some countries. Water quality is an issue that affects the entire globe, especially developing nations. In fact, according to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. Additionally, at least 1.8 billion people worldwide are estimated to drink water that is not protected against contamination from feces. An even greater number of people drink water which is delivered through a system without adequate protection against sanitary hazards. This is a concern because access to clean water is a basic right for everyone. Unclean water, or water with a poor WQI, can lead to diseases such as dysentery, hepatitis, and even worms. In particular, worms such as the Guinea worm can be contracted from contaminated water. In fact, by 2025 half the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. This leads to poorer water quality. Unless people take active steps now to correct these issues, it will only worsen.
Australia proposes a system of water quality tests be done on local rivers/streams where many residents of a particular nation go for water. These tests will determine whether the water is sustainable for drinking or not. These tests can be done with relative ease by water quality scientists. Australia does realize this presents some financial issues for less developed countries but notes that a fund could be created to alleviate such issues. In addition, education needs to be improved on the awareness of clean water access and the diseases that can occur alongside unclean water, countries need access to WHO’s WASHFIT guide. Additionally access to commodities such as iodine tablets, water filters, disinfecting agents and the like.
With the committee having so many able countries, the delegation of Australia is pleased to bring about solutions to ensure clean water for the world.
- Molly Capelli