Society and the Environment: Water Challenges

Safe water is a basic human necessity for cleaning, cooking, and drinking. At least one in eight people worldwide do not have access to a safe and reliable water supply.

In the United States and other developed countries it is easy to get clean water. These countries have systems to deliver water to distant places. They also have effective laws and management to preserve the water supply and have good waste collection and treatment systems. In much of the world, this is not the case. Access to clean water is one of the world’s biggest health challenges. For example, in many African countries, there is not enough water. In places where there is plenty of water, it often is contaminated with human wastes or pollutants. Thousands of people die every day from diarrhea caused by drinking unsafe water.

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