The water and sanitation crisis

The importance of clean water and sanitation is often overlooked by many. There is more than 750 million people who do not have access to clean water  and over 840,000 people who die as a result of this. [1] Many women and children have to travel long distances so that they may have water ,however often this water is unsafe to drink and can cause many horrible diseases . 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation and basic hygiene necessities. [1] The lack of both water and proper sanitation has not just resulted in disease but has also resulted in death,water conflicts,water wars, and affects economics. Although organizations and charities are beginning to build knowledge on this issue there is still the need to raise awareness about this subject and to take action , so that everyone can have safe drinking water and good sanitation.


“The water crisis is the #1 global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation), and the #8 global risk based on likelihood (likelihood of occurring within 10 years) as announced by the World Economic Forum, January 2015.” [2]


image by:dreamatico




What is the water crisis? The water crisis is a situation where the available potable, unpolluted water within a region is less than that region’s demand.Water scarcity is being driven by two converging phenomena: growing freshwater use and depletion of usable freshwater resources.[4]70 percent of our world is water and only 2.5 percent of that is fresh water .Which is the water that 7 billion need to live and perform daily activities with.[1]Obviously this could tend to get scarce however many countries including Canada  are taking advantage of this extremely important resource. For example we swim in gallons upon gallons of water while there are millions of people who don’t have a single drop of clean and safe water to drink or to bathe with . Countries with access to water  tend to  become ungrateful ,however many countries need our help to start taking action .


What water and sanitation is available to you plays a huge part in your life and has a bigger impact on your country than you may think .Water is fundamental to health, education, a life style, your career,food,development of a country,and poverty.The affects it can have on citizens are shocking.Listed below are some examples and explanations of its affects…

  • Health

Water plays such a vital role in everyone’s health no matter what age you are. Every single person in this world NEEDS water to survive. Safe water can prevent many unpleasant diseases including malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition. [6] These cause millions of illnesses and deaths every year. Water also impacts our health because it makes up 60 % of the human body , and is needed to help our cells and organs function. Also diseases tend to be infectious and can spread very quickly , the consequences of this can relate to  increased death rates in towns,villages ,cities or even countries  .

  • Education 

Many people are not aware of this but water can affect a child’s education dramatically. Time that is spent travelling to get water can be timely and very dangerous. Often it is mothers and children who are sent to collect water. This is usually  a very long walk and takes time away from children and girls having the opportunity to get an education. These walks can also be very dangerous…women and children often get hurt by falling, by attacks from animals , by drowning  and some don’t return home. The water that does come home is usually unsafe to drink and causes illness in the family. The time spent collecting water could be time better spent towards a child going to school and being able to have a good career.

More people have a cellphone than a toilet?![1]

Because of the water crisis, sanitation has also become a problem in many countries.Some countries include India,china,Indonesia,Nigeria,Pakistan.Out of the world’s population( roughly 7 billion) 6 million have access to a cellphone while only 4.5 million have access to a toilet [5]People who do not have access to proper sanitation are at risk for diarrhoea and many horrible diseases that ultimately lead to death.[1] Something so simple as a toilet and yet many of us take it for granted .Many people in a variety of countries  have to do their business in the open…I’m sure we can all imagine the smells this would leave and what death threatening diseases that could come from this . Also many people don’t have access to soap to wash their hands or shower ,this leads to lots of infections and makes it a lot easier to become sick.

(c) Panos Picures. Liberia is experiencing poor sanitary condition that is leading to the deaths of over 1,800 children less than five years die each year from diarrhoea – nearly 90% of which is directly attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene.

sanitation,image by Irish aid ,

 What are some possible solutions and how can we help?

  • Take shorter showers
  • Don’t waste water
  • conserve water(don’t leave taps running)
  • stop polluting the water we do have!
  • be mindful of what you put down your drain
  • Donate to a water charity of your choice
  • Be aware of the water crisis
  • Take action!

Some questions to consider ….

How would you insure that everyone has clean and safe water to drink and has access to good sanitation ?

and / or 

How do you think technology could solve the water crisis?









7 thoughts on “The water and sanitation crisis

  1. sadli5478 says:

    Well-written post Kiss! I learned a lot about the water crisis and how it affects millions around the world. Your videos were extremely captivating and engaging. They were extremely effective and allowed people like us who live in Canada, to see how this issue is affecting others. This is important because we don’t live in that type of environment. To edit your post, I would advise you to go over and look at your punctuation and spelling of some words such as, “diarrhea.” You have left spaces between the last word in a sentence and the period. Finally, fix your references using MLA format. I will help this cause by taking shorter showers, using less water in general, and possibly donating money to a water charity. I have one question, does the water we use here in Canada affect other countries? If so, how? Finally, technology could help the water crisis because companies/organizations who are trying to solve this global problem could make social media pages or websites and take donations using these platforms.

    • kkhan4525 says:

      Hello Subhan,

      Thanks for the help! To answer your question… Yes the water in Canada does affect other countries.As there is a limited amount of fresh water available, all the water we use is continuously recycled. Water takes time to recycle and transport. Also countries such as Canada have a lot of factories dumping their toxic wastes in fresh water. This means less and less water can be recycled and turned into clean water again. By limiting the amount of water we use that has to go through the process of recycling and being careful of what we put into our water, we would be able to send more water to other countries.

  2. eivanski6650 says:

    I like the post, the water crisis is a very serious and concerning issue. Its important to remember the water crisis, isn’t just long treks for water in under developed nations, it is a global issue. Even the most developed nations (Such as the US today with its drought in California), suffer from water management issues. Shortages of water are effecting almost every nation on earth.

    I would recommend you look into the global effects of the water crisis, and climate changes role in the issue.

    I agree with Subhan, you need to change your citation to fit MLA format. here’s the site I use to cite my sources.

    also, the source number in square brackets should follow the fact, not before it.

  3. mmaklad9954 says:

    Your post is very well written and your topic is very interesting and sad. I think that we should try to save as much water as we can. For instance we should take shorter showers or, like Mr. Puley said, take bathes instead. I do think that technology can solve the problem because one of the key things to solving the water crisis is awareness. Like you already did, people read about this online and charities operate online.
    Your post is well written but you should go back and check your commas because I noticed a couple of minor mistakes.

  4. ahassan2607 says:

    This is a very interesting and informative post. I have learned many new things. The article has effectively provided me with the perspective of someone lacking clean water. In order to aid the water crisis, it is important that I do my part. I can do so by taking shorter showers, as well as turning the tap off when washing dishes or brushing my teeth. Every little action can help. After all, single drops of water come together to form a lake or a puddle. Awareness on the issue can be raised through the use of advertising on social media.

    • kkhan4525 says:

      Hello Abiha,

      I I agree every little thing that we do can make a huge difference! I love the way you thought about this issue, comparing it to the single drops of water in a puddle/lake. It is a very creative way to think about the water and sanitation problem. If more people were to take action, even by doing small things, It would make a huge difference in the end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *