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