The convergence of hygiene, clean water and disease has been recognized for many years. The facts:
- Even though most of the Earth’s surface is water, only 1% of it is fresh usable and accessible water.
- In 2030, 47% of world population will be living in areas of high water stress. Most population growth will occur in developing countries, mainly in regions that are already experiencing water stress and in areas with limited access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities.
- Lack of sanitation is the leading cause of infection.
- One third of the global population does not have access to a toilet.
- Of the 60 million people added to the world’s towns and cities every year, most have no sanitation facilities.
- Globally, more than 780 million people do not have access to clean drinking water
- More people have a mobile cell phone than have a toilet.
- >85% of global cases of diarrhea are estimated to be attributed to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene.
- Diarrhea is more prevalent throughout the developing world largely due to the lower levels of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, along with poorer overall health, hygiene, and nutritional status.
- Around 1.5 million deaths each year – nearly one in five – are caused by diarrhea. It kills more children than malaria, AIDS, and measles combined. 90% of the deaths due to diarrheal diseases are children under 5 years old, mostly in developing countries.
- Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related illness
- 90% of waste water goes into rivers, lakes and oceans – untreated.
The treatment of water and wastewater to ensure safe pathogen-free access to humans, farming and livestock is an imperative.
Water treatment frequently uses filtration and chlorinated products to achieve pathogen elimination. Very little is known about the metabolic by-products of this process. Aldehyde-based water treatment offers a biodegradable solution.