According to recent various studies, we are facing rapid depletion of groundwater aquifers and the state of the majority of our global water supplies is deplorable, with one study putting the pollution at around 60% of current supplies.
This means that the water that is available for drinking, domestic use or personal hygiene, is becoming less and less, and that which we do have is tainted by various toxins, including arsenic and other heavy metals.
The groundwater in the Indo-Gangetic Basin, which supplies water to more than 750 million people, for instance, is badly tainted with arsenic and cannot even be used for irrigation purposes, let alone drinking or other domestic uses due to contamination levels and excess salinity.
A recent report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) stated that the levels of pollution in lakes and rivers in Asia, Africa and Latin America place more than 320 million people at risk for the life-threatening diseases, cholera and typhoid.
Cycloviruses and various other pathogens have also been discovered that have been linked to various childhood health risks, including neurological problems. Other toxins that are threatening our drinking water, livelihoods and even our lives include long-lasting toxic pollutants such as fertilizer and petrol, and viruses, bacteria and other micro-organisms that cause waterborne diseases that cost the lives of millions every year, especially in developing countries.
Much of the water pollution problems are as a result of a major increase in the global population growth, which leads to an expansion of agriculture (and fertilizer runoff), an increase in industry, and an increased amount of raw sewage released into rivers and lakes. At least 25% of all the rivers in Africa and Asia are severely polluted with pathogens because of untreated wastewater being dumped directly into rivers and lakes. The same situation applies to nearly half of all rivers in Asia.
Add to this the fact that climate change is wreaking havoc in various regions, causing storms and flood in some regions and devastating droughts in others, and we are facing major drinking water problems, so save water and make sure that the water that you do drink is from a safe source such as a water cooler fitted with a good water filter.