In ancient times freshwater was crucial because it brought forth civilization. Freshwater was rivers, lakes, everything that could make the soil fertile, so that people could farm and also navigate to expand trade with other countries. In fact, the first civilizations ever were born in Mesopotamia, between Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
A big value has always been attributed to water, both for what concerns philosophy and religion. In the past and still today, many religions and philosophies (such as Talete’s ) think of it as a primordial element that gave birth to life. Nowadays If we think about science, we know it’s exactly the way it happened.
Water in our daily life
Our body needs to be hydrated every day to enable all physiological processes and biochemical reactions we need to survive, experts say we should drink about 2 litres of it daily. If we don’t consume enough water or undrinkable water some consequences could be headaches, skin becoming drier, urines’ colour darker than usual, diarrhea and cholera, due to which almost 1000 children die every day and many other diseases.
Another valuable role that water plays in our daily life regards our hygiene, without which we wouldn’t be able to keep a good standard of health. It’s important to have access to potable, fresh and clean water. Many respiratory infections, skin and eyes inflammation could be avoided with simple hygiene measures, such as just washing hands and face with soap.
Water is essential for farming: this industry consumes 60% of water resources. Since the 1960s, food production has increased with the constant growing population and in the next 30 years 80% of food will come from irrigated agriculture, and this will involve further water consumption.
Nowadays, it’s a privilege to have water. It’s an inestimable good that our society revolves around, and in the future, more than now.
The commercial gain is in fact massive. The worth of a simple bottle of water is the same of 1000 litres of tap-water. This industry keeps going because people believe that bottled water undergoes many checks, while tap-water doesn’t. Actually, it’s often the opposite.
…Essential for life, but
Millions of people don’t have access to it. This is the situation in poorer countries where less than 50% of the population is able to have access to safe water resources. Many people don’t even owe the bare minimum of potable water to survive and the consequences are fatal. 2.2 billion people lack access to safe water services and 4.2 billion to adequate and available sanitation in homes. With COVID-19, which has made hand hygiene more vital than ever, the absence of soap and water in schools, homes and even health centres is even more dramatic.
In Africa or India, women are the ones who provide water for their families and sometimes they have to walk multiple kilometres to reach a well or a river. On their way back home they are likely to get robbed, sexually assaulted or even swept up by floods.
Between 1990 and 2015, more than 2.6 billion people obtained access to safe water, of which 1.9 billion directly in their homes through the water network. Nonetheless, 663 million people remained without it – one out of 10.
The Water and Sanitation program is one of UNICEF’s core action programs. currently in progress in more than 100 countries.
Jonathan Vicinzino 3BL