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Inter Press Service Examines World Water Week’s Focus On ‘Dirty Water’

Inter Press Service reports on the ongoing talks at World Water Week over “the widespread devastation caused to humans by polluted water.”

The article offers statistics on the health problems faced by the “more than 900 million” people without access to safe drinking water and the “estimated 2.6 billion” without access to basic sanitation. “Clarissa Brocklehurst, chief of water, sanitation and hygiene at the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF, points out that some 1.8 million people, mostly children under five, die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water,” IPS writes.

The article references a report which highlighted how the effort to transform “waste water from a major health and environmental hazard into a clean, safe and economically-attractive resource is emerging as a key challenge in the 21st century” and details several strategies for achieving this goal.

The article features comments by Rita Colwell, the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, who addresses the social and economic toll water-borne diseases can have on populations, and several U.N. officials including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who notes a growing trend in industry to address water quality issues (Deen, 9/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.