You rely upon water to live comfortably – but so does everyone else. Water is a basic necessity that plays a direct and indirect role in education, agriculture, health, mortality rate, and more. This is why water is declared a fundamental human right that no person should have to go without.
But what happens in case water runs out? Water scarcity is extremely dreadful because it can take away everything you hold dear.
Right now, it endangers the lives of more than 2 billion people, and there is much more threat to them than we know.
Therefore, making water accessible is the most vital task at hand to tackle. Several NGOs are already working tirelessly; their mission is to make the dream of the easy availability of water globally turn into a reality.
Here are some indirect impacts of access to water and how you can help sustainably provide water to more communities.
The indirect impact of access to water
Water and Education:
Did you know that over 30% of the schools have no access to safe water and proper sanitation globally? No matter how hard we try to make education accessible, the indirect impact of access to water on education is so huge that it deprives thousands of children of learning.
Firstly, it determines whether a child will be able to attend school at all. Children miss school either due to illness from consuming polluted water or because they spend a good chunk of their time collecting water.
Yes! In many parts of the world, children travel long distances to get water for their families at the crack of dawn. They cannot attend school because there is no time! According to a report, 1 in every 4 girls remains absent from school to collect water compared to 1 in 7 boys. It is mainly because women and children are often the ones given this duty.
Also, carrying water long distances puts an enormous physical burden and affects a student’s attendance together with their school performance.
Students who live in water-scarce areas often come to school with stomach aches, diarrhea, and headaches. The lack of clean water affects their ability to focus on their studies. Likewise, teachers who must travel long distances to collect water for their classes are less likely to teach effectively.
Water and Agriculture:
Agriculture is one of the most significant sectors of the world economy. It is responsible for producing the majority of food grown today, and much of that food is made possible by access to water.
If we talk about the indirect impact of access to water on agriculture, there are some serious consequences to note.
Water, as we all know, is the backbone of agriculture. It drives the production and consumption of food. Without it, there would be a massive difference in production rates between those who have access and those who do not.
With no water to use, there would not be enough food for everyone. This will insanely drive the levels of inflation up, severely damaging the economy. High costs of living will cause the poor to starve and go further down in poverty. Farmers will also lose their source of income and may find themselves in debt (which is very common). Illiteracy rates will soar, depriving many children of their right to education.
Low availability of food results in malnutrition, especially in vulnerable groups, such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly. This malnourishment makes them more prone to diseases and, consequently, to untimely deaths.
More importantly, not enough food on the table will lead to an agitated population – in other words, a higher crime rate.
Water and Health:
Considering that 60% of our body is water, it leaves no doubt to say that water is what makes life. It is necessary for both physical and psychological health. Yet still, over 785 million people in the world do not have easy or affordable access to quality drinking water.
Access to water plays a direct role in human health. Lack of water facilities often leads to an increased risk of disease transmission. In other words, a water crisis is a health crisis.
Presently, over 1 million people lose their lives because of no access to clean water. A child dies every two minutes from consuming contaminated water. The majority of these deaths happen because of infectious diseases, such as typhoid, which can be easily prevented by access to clean, safe drinking water.
Moreover, water is irreplaceable for hygiene. Insufficiency of clean, steadily available water supply makes it difficult for people to keep themselves, their clothes, their surroundings, and their utensils clean. Such a situation is one of the major causes of low immunity and high disease rates.
Given the current COVID-19 pandemic that we are facing, access to safe water for everyone is now more crucial than ever.
Water and Mortality rate:
It is no secret that water quality is critical to human health. It affects the health and well-being of those who drink it.
There have been studies to examine the association between water quality and death rates, and the results show a strong association between mortality rates and different types of pollutants. Higher levels of pollution can cause death rates to rise significantly.
Access to safe water and sanitation contributes to improved health and helps prevent the spread of infectious diseases. It also means reduced child and maternal mortality rates, and reduced levels of physical injury from constant lifting and carrying heavy loads of water.
Another thing to remember is that access to water determines the availability of healthy food. Water scarcity lowers food production, leading to higher rates of malnutrition among people living in areas where water shortages exist.
How does Ek Plate Biryani help to provide clean water?
EkPlateBiryani is a non-profit organization working to ease the lives of those in distress. Our mission is to provide safe drinking water and we do this by installing deep-well hand pumps.
Moreover, EkPlateBiryani has been on the frontline for water charity by providing training, advocacy, and technical support in the development of sustainable water resources management.
FAQs: Indirect Impact of Access to Water
What are the consequences of a lack of access to water?
Lack of access to water poses many threats such as higher rates of illiteracy, less food on the table, a significant economic decline as well as a higher mortality rate. And, inevitably, pushing billions of people into poverty.
How will the impact of water scarcity affect the poor?
Water is the main driver of economic growth so without it comes poverty. The poor will face severe circumstances of poverty where adults struggle to earn a daily wage and children have no access to education. The cycle becomes too vicious and they cannot come out of it without help from the fortunate ones.
What are the two main ways humans negatively impact water?
Humans often adversely affect the environment. While there are many ways humans negatively impact water, the two main ones are deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels.