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- A recent study published in Nature Communications Earth & Environment highlights a global water quality model that helps fill gaps in understanding the water crisis.
- How can donors help shed light on global water issues?
- Learn how finance can combat the growing water crisis.
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While achieving the United Nations (UN) ambitious Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for wastewater treatment would cause substantial improvements in global water quality, severe water quality issues would contain to persist in some world regions. So conclude researchers at Utrecht University. They developed a new water quality model to further elucidate the current and future pollution status of rivers and streams globally. The paper was published on 6th October in Nature Communications Earth & Environment.
Water quality issues are branded an “invisible crisis” by the World Bank, being under-monitored, difficult to detect and often imperceptible to the human eye. Nevertheless, the quality of global water resources is increasingly coming under pressure due to population growth, economic development and climate change. Yet, clean water is vital for our societal needs – such as public health, energy generation and crop production – and for protecting ecosystem health. To illustrate, an estimated 829,000 deaths worldwide are attributed each year to diarrhoea caused by the use of contaminated water for drinking or sanitation purposes.
In this study, the authors developed a new high-resolution global water quality model which can “help to fill-in-the-gaps in water quality knowledge, particularly in world regions where we lack observations”, says lead author Edward Jones. In addition to identifying hotspots of water quality issues, the model can help with attributing the source of pollution to particular sectors. “For instance, large-scale irrigation systems for agriculture drive salinity issues in Northern India, while industrial processes are more responsible in eastern China. Conversely, the domestic and livestock sectors drive organic and pathogen pollution worldwide”, Jones remarks.
Read the full article about looming water crisis at Environmental News Network.