Science and technology are on the way to preventing waterborne diseases worldwide.
Articles such as the following at Science Daily.com point to new developments in the improvement of water treatment technology:
* Cheap, Clean Drinking Water Purified Through Nanotechnology (Feb 26, 2008)
* Safer Water Worldwide
* Converting Sewage Into Drinking Water: Wave of the Future (Jan30, 2008)
* Membrane Filters Offer Options for Cleaner Water; Technology May Help Remove Contaminants from Drinking Water Supplies (July 18, 2002)
* Ultrasound Cleans Ceramic Filters: could Aid Water Treatment (April 11, 2002)
* New Wastewater Treatment system Removes Heavy Metals (Oct 22, 2007)
With new water treatment technology available such as Nanotechnology we may soon have a safe and effective way of treating millions of water systems worldwide, which would drastically reduce water born illnesses.
Today, more than 6,000 people die worldwide every day from water-related diseases according to a recent report of the World Water Assessment Program of UNESCO. They not only die from waterborne diseases but from pollutants that contaminate water systems and lead to illnesses.
In developing countries four-fifths of illnesses are caused by contaminated water. 1.1 billion people worldwide lack "improved drinking water." 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation. More than 2,213,00 deaths occur annually due to unsafe and unsanitary drinking water. Over 2 billion people are infected with schistosomes and malaria kills over a million people per year. In Bangladesh over 35 million people are exposed to dangerous and toxic levels of arsenic in their drinking water. Flooding after the Tsunami in Asia in 2004 exposed people to shigellosis, cholera, hepatitis A, leptosirosis, typhoid fever, malaria, and dengue fever. (www.lenntech.com/Waterborne-diseases/waterborne-diseases.htm)
The newest technology called Nanotechnology consists of using active silica particles to remove biological molecules, pathogens such as viruses , bacteria like Escherichia coli, and Cryplosporidium parvum. Tiny particles of silica coated with an active material can be used to remove toxic chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and other water toxins.
At the University of South Australia, the Ian Wark Institute, scientists, Peter Majewski and Chiu Ping Cho explain how Nanotechnology could be a simple and much less costly solution to water treatment than what is used today which is very complex and expensive. Contaminated water could be treated for millions of people worldwide. (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080220094656.htm).
What can we do to help? Study the treatments available. If you are science oriented consider a career in water science. Become a scientist. Volunteer your services with ecological and conservation programs. Donate to organizations helping to put new technology in place in developing countries. We can eradicate water-related diseases with new technology and a concerted effort of citizens worldwide interested in fostering the health and lives of all peoples.