"Environmental Health: Safe Water System" is an exceptional example of a paper on poisoning, toxicology, and environmental health. The world today is beset by several controversial environmental issues that affect the well-being of its inhabitants. Issues such as global warming, climate change, and air and water pollution continue to hound every country today. Of utmost importance is the issue of the availability of safe water in the environment. This essay will highlight the various concerns on the availability and quality of water in the environment. In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed to provide Americans access to water that meets specific public health standards; however, the U. S.
Census Bureau in 2009 found out that approximately 37 million Americans do not have this privilege (Backer, 2011). If the United States being a First World country, with all the technological advancements on its hands experiences this predicament, one can just imagine how worse the situation is among developing countries. The various sources of water have been identified to include surface water sources such as rivers and lakes; groundwater wells with a high percentage of contamination; pipe systems with inadequately treated water; pipe water systems with intermittent water flow which requires proper storage; water tankers; and water vendors whose source of water is not safe or whose tanker is most likely unsanitary (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2010). These sources of water show a clear picture of the quality of water that some populations in the world have access to. According to the CDC, every year approximately two to three million children aged less than five years old die of diarrhea which is often due to contaminated water (2005). This alarming fact has paved the way for governments worldwide to seriously look into the problem of safe, potable water. Aside from safe drinking water, concerns regarding widespread water pollution have also increased. Governments of nations all over the world, together with private institutions and organizations are now, more than ever addressing the issue of safe water in the environment. Some of the steps taken include efforts to enhance the protection of drinking water sources and other small streams and wetlands. The Safe Drinking Water Act was improved by adding “ stronger standards and new protections for the public, including a new right to know the requirement for an annual report on water quality to drinking water customers” (Clean Water Action, n.d. ). Organizations like the Clean Water Action has taken steps such as developing and promoting innovative ideas on how to use and manage water resources, campaigning against the use of toxic chemicals and sources of energy that contribute to poor water quality, and proposing possible solutions to improve the water systems available (Clean Water Action, n.d. ). Another step undertaken by the government to tackle the safe water issue is the development of the Safe Water System (SWS), through the efforts of the CDC and the Pan American Health Organization. The SWS is a “ simple, inexpensive, adaptable, and flexible intervention that employs technologies appropriate for the developing world” (CDC, 2005). It assists the people in ways to improve and protect the quality of the water that they consume. Globally, one can observe that there is an increased awareness of the issue of safe water in the environment. People are becoming more informed and concerned that safe water is a resource that communities cannot live without.
Backer, L. C. (2011, March 1). Unregulated drinking water initiative for environmental surveillance and public health. Journal of Environmental Health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010, October 26). Safe Water System (SWS) - Who is the safe water system for? Retrieved August 10, 2011, from cdc.gov: http://www.cdc.gov/safewater/about_pages/about_who.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2005, August 24). Safe Water System (SWS) - Why was the Safe Water System developed? Retrieved August 10, 2011, from cdc.gov: http://www.cdc.gov/safewater/about_pages/about_why.htm
Clean Water Action. (n.d.). Clean water action: A brief history. Retrieved August 10, 2011, from cleanwateraction: http://www.cleanwateraction.org/about
Clean Water Action. (n.d.). Protecting America's water. Retrieved August 10, 2011, from cleanwateraction.org: http://www.cleanwateraction.org/issue/protecting-americas- waters#Restoration