Many societies around the world struggle to get enough clean water. Read our blog to learn how this issue can affect these societies.

What Is the Global Water Crisis?


In the U.S., clean water is rarely more than several yards away. Our tap and bottled water provides more purified drinking water than we need, and it's easy to take our water for granted. However, people in other places of the world struggle to get the water they need - and what they do obtain is usually from polluted sources. The lack of clean water affects a society in every aspect, and is a basic human right that commonly goes unfulfilled.

Keep reading to learn how this water crisis affects some societies around the world.

Children Are Often the Most Unsafe

Contaminated water can affect children more than adults. With weaker immune systems and smaller bodies, children are often more susceptible to waterborne illness. Diarrhea is a common kiler - quickly dehydrating infants and toddlers until they die of organ failure. Parasites also infest polluted water and can be deadly to a smal child.

Additionally, high infant mortality affects every aspect of a society. It stunts the population, making it difficult for a country or state to expand beyond finding basic necessities. And mothers and caregivers must spend more time taking care of sick children, which draws them away from other work. Societies that lack access to clean water suffer both socially and economically.

Safe Water May Be Difficult to Obtain

Lots of places struggle to access any kind of water. For example, in rural Nigeria, less than  40 percent of the people live within 30 minutes to a water source. Often the water source is contaminated or hosts dangerous parasites. For instance, E coli is commonly found in unsafe water sources, and it can be deadly when consumed.

Unsafe or inaccessible water sources affect an entire community. When water is scarce, washing hands becomes a lower priority, and disease often quickly spreads. Medical workers who attempt to treat these diseases can contract it themselves, making the society less able to care for themselves. Waterborne diseases are largely preventable, but many people die because they do not have access to uncontaminated water.

The time it takes to obtain water is another detriment to a water stressed community. For many communities, any sort of water is a long walk away. Time is a huge commodity, and people spending an hour or more collecting water cannot perform other important functions. Because the society struggles to fulfill its basic needs, it cannot compete or grow.

These Societies Often Have an Unsteady Future

If the trend continues, almost  2 billion people will be living with water scarcity. Climate change only exacerbates this issue, and the cost to have clean water sources is growing to be far out of reach for those who need it. However, the WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) are working hard to bring down these harrowing statistics.

WHO has released guidelines for clean water - educating those in need on how to know if water is safe to drink. They focus on water-based diseases and parasites, which are the main issues caused by unsafe or contaminated water. More than just general guidelines, WHO works with individual countries to educate based on more localized needs.

However, even with education available, a lot of problems come from incorrect implementation of policies. Clean water remains scarce, and it's not because people don't know what to do but because they do not know how to do it.

Some countries with more resources have made it a priority to help the world's water crisis, donating money to WHO or its water-specific initiative, WASH (water, sanitation, and health). Other private charities and initiatives exist to help bring water to those in need.

Private companies are also doing their part to mitigate the water crisis by producing water-conscious materials. At Clean Buddies, we save water and increase health through sanitation. Visit our website to learn more about how we help fight the water crisis and work toward a brighter future.