Water Quality Management: A Globally Neglected Issue

Signs of water quality deterioration can be seen all over the world. Globally at least 4 billion people do not have access to water that they consider safe to drink. In Southasia alone this number is 1.7 billion. From Japan to United States fewer and fewer people are not drinking water from the tap. In entire developing world fewer than 10% of people have access to proper wastewater collection and treatment. Globally 1 in 8 persons are at high risk of water pollution from BOD, 1 in 6 from nitrogen and 1 in 4 from phosphorus. In 2015, 1.8 million people died from water pollution. Managing water quality is complex. In 1970s, Singapore was monitoring 36 water quality parameters: now it is over 340. With strong political support China is making good progress in controlling water pollution. Countries like India are not. Enough knowledge, expertise, technology and investment funds are available to manage water quality properly. Lack of political will and public apathy have lead to this sad situation.

By Asit K. Biswas and Cecilia Tortajada, 2019. Article published in International Journal of Water Resources Development, Volume 35, Number 6, pages 913-916. DOI: 10.1080/07900627.2019.1670506

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