Contaminated and polluted water kills more people than all forms of violence including wars, according to the UNEP. Cleaning wastewater would hence make sense even from an economic point of view, not to mention humanitarian.
The world actually face a water crisis, both of quantity and quality, caused by continuous population growth, industrialization, food production practices, increased living standards and poor water use strategies. It is hence essential that wastewater management is considered part of integrated, ecosystem-based management that operates across sectors and borders, freshwater and marine.
Kiling billions of people
The report defines wastewater as a combination of fertilizer runoff, sewage disposal and other animal, agricultural and industrial wastes. Ninety percent of wastewater discharged daily in developing countries is untreated, contributing to the deaths of some 2.2 million people a year from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene. At least 1.8 million children younger than 5 die every year from water-related diseases, the report says.
One solution would be for the West to channel aid into cleaning wastewater. Do you think that would be a sustainable way of both saving lives, cleaning up the environment and making sure aid is used properly? It would actually save more lives than if we could, miraculously, stop all wars.