Surface water and groundwater are not always static in their natural reservoirs. The water particles are always moving either vertically, laterally, or a combination of both through the banks and bottom of the reservoirs.
In the past two decades, water privatization — turning over some or all of the assets or operations of a public system to a private company — has been growing rapidly, as has concern and opposition to privatization.
Solving water challenges worldwide cannot be achieved through policy responses alone. Indeed, complementary sustainability strategies rely on economic tools (i.e., market-based instruments) that incentivize voluntary improvements in practice.
Companies around the world increasingly recognize the risk that water scarcity, pollution, and weak water governance have to their core business. They are beginning to acknowledge the need to manage water as a key input to production and better address the ways in which their water use and wastewater discharge can affect nearby ecosystems and communities.
It is everyone’s wish to be able to wake up each day and turn on a tap that provides a safe, constant source of drinking water, but this does not happen in the lives of nearly one billion people who live without access to potable water. With no option, they rely on polluted surface and groundwater sources which are also the main sources of water-related disease such as diarrhea, typhoid, cholera, and worm infection. Infectious, water-related illness can keep victims out of work for long periods of time, prevent school attendance, and even result in death: UNICEF reported that about 4,500 children die every day from preventable, water-related diseases.
Water is life. Growing pressure on water resources – from population and economic growth, climate change, pollution, and other challenges – has major impacts on our social, economic, and environmental well-being.
Who profits from our use of environmental resources? Who suffers the consequences of pollution and environmental degradation? Creating and sustaining healthy and thriving neighborhood environments is a challenge, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, who carry disproportionate environmental burdens.
Fundamental needs for environmental health, including safe water and sanitation, justice, and sustainability in poor and low-income communities around the world are not being met because of underinvestment, poor investment decisions, inappropriate technologies, ineffective systems of operation and maintenance, poor governance, and the failure to involve local residents in the decision-making process.
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