Water is a valuable resource that is a necessity for living creatures. This fact holds most true for mankind. It is necessary for humans to have access to clean and sufficient water in order to survive. Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, water resources are not only scarce but also contaminated. Both the scarcity and contamination of water prove to be detrimental to human health. This research paper aims to discuss the link between water quality and public health, the water concerns in the United States and other parts of the world, as well as the difference between water quantity and water quality.
The link between water quality and public health is established by the condition that if the water available to the public is insufficient and unsafe, their health would be in danger. Water is essential to the life of mankind. It is a resource used for almost all human activities. Nonetheless, the most significant use of water is for nourishment. Clean and safe drinking water is a very important resource (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], n. d. ). This is the reason why the authorities must ensure that people have access to good quality and quantity water sources.
Unfortunately, in some countries, water supply is inadequate, and unsafe for human consumption due to contamination. As a result, many people get sick and eventually die from their drinking water (CDC, n. d. ). Throughout the world, many people are experiencing health problems due to water issues. The United States is one of the countries wherein drinking water resources are considered as most safe for human consumption (CDC, n. d. ). Despite this, many Americans still become ill because of their drinking water.
A significant number of Americans rely on drinking water supplies which utilize ground water. In 2001 and 2002, there were disease outbreaks which were determined to have been caused by drinking water. These outbreaks resulted in thousands of people getting sick, some of which even died. The cause of the outbreak was said to be the incorrect, if not the complete lack of, treatment of ground water (CDC, n. d. ). Safety of drinking water is also the concern of the developing countries. Many of the diseases, which have claimed thousands of lives, have been attributed to the water supply.
According to the World Health Organization (2008), diarrhoea claims the lives of many children below the age of five in developing countries. Young children are also the most affected in the malaria outbreaks prevalent in Africa (World Health Organization [WHO], 2008). Other diseases which cause sickness and fatalities in developing nations include schistosomiasis, trachoma and intestinal helminths, all of which are caused by the water supply. Aside from water safety, water inadequacy is also a problem in developing countries (Environmental Literary Council [ELC], 2008).
The lack of water supply forces the people to utilize the only available water sources, even if these are unclean and unsafe. The cycle repeats itself, as it again becomes an issue of water safety (ELC, 2008). It is therefore important that both the safety and sufficiency of water supply must be guaranteed to prevent the loss of lives and the other detrimental effects of water on human health. The water situation becomes an issue of both water quality and water quantity. Water quality addresses this question: “Is the water supply safe for human consumption?
” Water quantity addresses this question: “Is the water supply enough? ” Water quality is threatened when contamination occurs (Conservation Ontario [CO], 2007). Water quantity is threatened when the water supply utilized is not quickly replenished (CO, 2007). Water quality and water quantity is connected in the sense that an insufficient supply of water from a source could mean that there is a concentration of contaminants. In this sense, both water quality and water quantity is threatened. Clean and sufficient drinking water is important for public health.
If potable water proves to be both unsafe and scarce, there is sure to be a threat to human health. It is therefore necessary that governments must maintain both the water quality and water quantity to ensure that the people’s survival. Water is a human need, and humans need water that is both safe and sufficient for their consumption.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n. d. ). Water-Related Environmental Public Health: Ground Water. Retrieved August 12, 2008, from http://www. cdc. gov/nceh/ehhe/water/groundwater. htmEnvironmental Literacy Council. (2008). Water in Developing Countries. Retrieved August 12, 2008, from http://www. enviroliteracy. org/article. php/1400. html World Health Organization. (2008). Water Sanitation and Health. Retrieved August 12, 2008, from http://www. who. int/water_sanitation_health/publications/facts2004/en/index. html Conservation Ontario. (2007). Water Quality & Water Quantity: The Issues. Retrieved August 12, 2008, from conservation-ontario. on. ca/source_protection/files/SPP_Materials/Final_SPP_FAQS_quality_2007_11_23. pdf