Solutions To Global ‘Water Quality’ Related Problems

Water quantity and water quality are the two main categories of global water problems (alongside more specific water issues)

This is a very short guide outlining potential solutions to global water quality related problems.


Summary – Water Quality Related Problems, & Solutions

For water to be of adequate quality, it needs to be in an adequate condition for it’s end use 

Usually, this refers to water pollution and contamination, which changes the quality/condition of the water.

Water can be polluted and contaminated in a number of ways.

Contamination can also include fresh water becoming saline if it’s cross contaminated with sea water, and, ground water can become saline in a number ways.

But, ocean salt water just by it’s nature is not of adequate quality to be drinking water unless it undergoes the desalination process

Potable water (drinking water) usually needs to meet standards set in legislation. The Safe Drinking Water Act is one example 

There’s also a range of criteria potable/drinking water might be tested for

Non potable water, such as water used to irrigate agricultural crops, might only need to pass independent water testing standards, but, may also need to meet national or State standards codified in regulations in some places

Treated waste water that is reused/recycled usually needs to meet regulations and guidelines in developed countries

Different countries around the world have different water quality laws, standards and requirements, and some countries may have far more significant water quality issues than others

Drinking water in developed countries is usually treated, tested and regulated at water treatment plants, and delivered to homes and buildings via public supply pipes

But, even developed countries like the United States may have water contamination queries over their supply pipes e.g. leaching of chemicals or compounds into the drinking water supply

Developing or underdeveloped regions may drink poor quality or contaminated water, and this leads to a range of health and socio economic problems

The solutions to water quality problems usually differ between countries, and also between low and high, and developed and developing countries.

Every country, region and city or town needs it’s own custom solutions and long term strategy for adequate quality water, as water issues are localized


Solutions To Improve Water Quality Related Problems

Solutions to water quality problems might involve:

Better accountability for, and tracking of the biggest water polluters and contaminators in each local area

Preventing water pollution and contamination at it’s source before bodies of water are degraded (one example is how agriculture may change water quality of surrounding water sources when pesticides or fertilizer leach into these water sources)

Cleaning up polluted and contaminated bodies of water

Prevent fresh water sources from being cross contaminated with salt water, and address factors that lead to fresh water sources turning saline

Having codified legislation, regulations and standards/guidelines in place for quality of both potable and non potable water 

Treating and purifying water as required so it becomes adequate quality for it’s end use (including public treatment and purification, but also individuals may choose to purchase their own private ‘at-home’ filters and purifiers)

Initial and ongoing testing of both non treated water and treated water, to make sure it meets adequate quality standards for it’s end use.

Make water testing results available to the public, and have regular updates on water quality from testing

Understanding the different measurables water is being tested for (turbidity, minerals, bacteria, pH, and so on)

Address any leaching and water contamination problems in public supply pipes (i.e. that they are free from heavy metals and other compounds that can leach into the water)

Better and more effective agreements to preserve water quality where States and regions share fresh water sources, or where a State relies on external fresh water sources

There can also be natural ways to help address water quality problems, such as the use of trees 


We’ve put together several guides with further information on some water quality related topics:

How To Find Out The Quality Of Freshwater 

Drinking Water Quality In Different Countries & Cities, & How To Know If Tap Water Is Safe

Water Pollution & Contamination: Causes, Sources, Effects & Solutions

Countries & Cities With The Most Water Pollution & Contamination

Countries & Cities With The Best Water Supplies & Resources





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