Why is water scarce in some areas of the world?

Water currently covers over 70% of our planet, and it is easy to think every country has a water supply. However, the water we use to drink, bathe in, farm fields etc, is rare. We can only use 3% of the freshwater, as two-thirds are frozen in glaciers or unavailable.

Water is essential for every living being. Regularly drinking water helps to keep your body functioning and healthy. Drinking water has many advantages that include:

  • Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
  • Regulates the bodies temperature
  • Protects body organs
  • Moistens the eyes, mouth, and nose
  • Lubricates joints
  • Dissolves minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to your body

Research studies have shown, that drinking 6 – 8 cups of water a day are enough to keep your body healthy. This can include tea, coffee, and sugar-free drinks. However, not drinking water regularly can have negative side effects on your health.

Persistent headaches – It is commonly known, that not drinking enough water can cause headaches. This, for many people, is a wake-up call and is a sign that their body is telling them to drink more water. This is because you are dehydrated, and dehydration can be dangerous.

Dry mouth – This is another common indicator, to know if you are dehydrated. More technically known as dry mucous membranes, which means a lack of saliva. This can make it difficult to talk, breathe and swallow.

Lower energy levels – When you are dehydrated, it is common for your energy levels to be lower. Drinking water helps to improve your health and keep your mind alert during the day.

Risk of a stroke – According to a study by BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, being dehydrated often can increase the risk of a stroke.

Water Diseases

Drinking unsafe water can lead to many illnesses, including diarrhoea, Legionnaires disease and untreated excreta contamination. It can also lead to pollution of groundwaters with chemicals that are harmful to human consumption or bathing.

Moreover, almost 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water resources, and a sum of 2.7 billion people have water shortages once a month.

Insufficient sanitation is a problem for 2.4 billion people, as they are exposed to diseases, such as legionnaires, cholera and typhoid fever, and other water-borne illnesses. Each year two million people, mostly children, die from diarrheal diseases alone.

What is Legionnaires disease?

Legionnaire’s disease is a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition, which is caused by heavy exposure to legionella bacteria.

Legionella disease is found in natural water systems like ponds and rivers, although it is difficult for people to catch this disease from these sources.

However, the outbreak of this disease is often due to poor water hygiene services in systems where water is primarily occupied. These systems include cooling towers, spa pools and evaporative condensers. For legionella and other water-borne diseases to spread, they originate from higher temperatures found in the water systems.

scientist in a protective suit and mask, collects legionella samples from the pond in a Petri dish

How can you get it?

  • Inhaling small droplets of water known as aerosols
  • The water temperature in the water system may be between 20-45 °C, which is a temperature appropriate for growth
  • Water is being re-circulated or stored
  • Some deposits can withstand the bacterial growth providing a source of nutrients for the disease to spread like rust, sludge, scale, organic matter, and biofilms

However, some people are more susceptible to contracting Legionella disease than others:

  • People suffering from lung disease, heart disease and diabetes
  • Suffering from kidney disease or chronic respiratory
  • People who have weaker immune systems
  • Heavy drinkers or smokers
  • People over forty-five

Due to poor water hygiene services and no water risk assessments, bacteria will continue to grow in these water systems. Therefore, it is vital for companies that manage large systems containing water, to have the appropriate water risk assessment checks, being regularly maintained.

Professional water hygiene services can conduct these tasks, as well as complete water risk assessments, to ensure the safety of the water.

Learn more about water treatment

We help dutyholders and responsible persons across the UK manage their water treatment. If you're responsible for H&S at your workplace, send an enquiry using the form below and we'll discuss how we can help. It'll be another task off your mind.