Why Sewersheds are essential to get clean water in future - Seeker's Thoughts

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Why Sewersheds are essential to get clean water in future

Water is an essential source of life on earth. Globally water crises are rising; people from around the world are struggling to access the quantity and quality of water they need for drinking, cooking, bathing, hand washing, and growing their food.

Globally, 844 million people lack access to clean water. Without clean, easily accessible water, families and communities are in poverty for generations.

Children and women are most worst affected – children because they are more vulnerable to diseases of dirty water and women and girls because they often bear the burden of carrying water for their families for an estimated 200 million hours each day.

Urban growth of population and less reliable precipitation patterns due to climate change are putting pressure on cities' drinking water supplies globally.

Nowadays, water treatment technologies are improving and becoming cheaper. These combined conditions have led urban water supply managers to look favorably on a non-traditional drinking water source.

Purifying sewage play a vital role in meeting drinking water quality standards. A process known as potable water reuse is technically feasible and can be cost-effective for augmenting urban water supplies. For these reasons, potable water reuse systems are becoming popular in the United States, Singapore and Australia, and other places.

Watershed and sewer shed a reuse water technology

A watershed is a basin-shaped land area defined by high points (Ridges) and low points (receiving water body). Suppose an umbrella turned upside down in the rain, and how water would flow and collect in the center. 

Since rain falls everywhere, all land is part of the watershed with a receiving body of water. Water "sheds" or flows of the ridges down the slope and into the lowest-lying water body may be a lake, reservoir, or river. As water flows downhill, it is also absorbed into the ground, lessening the amount that ends up directly running into the water body.

And when sewage infrastructure is constructed, drainage patterns in a watershed are altered.

A sewershed is an area of land and how water flows through the built environment; over the streets, sidewalks, buildings, and how it drains into pipes that carry it to treatment plants or surrounding water bodies.

But today, the watershed was left out of previous watershed protection efforts. Because it is increasingly integral to urban water supplies. A watershed protection approach is needed alongside watershed protection to preserve the safety of drinking water supplies.

Health risk due to contaminated water

Sewershed and watershed protection is essential because today, dirty water and poor sanitation are linked to the transmission of diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio. Absent, inadequate, or inappropriately managed water and sanitation services expose individuals to preventable health risks.

Globally 15% of patients develop an infection during a hospital stay, which is much more significant in low-income countries.

Mismanagement in urban, industrial, and agriculture wastewater means the drinking-water of hundreds of millions of people is dangerously contaminated or chemical polluted.

According to the WHO, some 829,000 people are estimated to die each year from diarrhea due to unsafe drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene. Even though diarrhea is mostly preventable, and the deaths of 297 000 children aged under five years could be avoided every year if these risk factors were addressed where water is not readily available.

So the diarrhea is the most widely known disease linked to contaminated food and water; however, there are other hazards. 

In 2017, over 220 million people required preventive treatment for schistosomiasis, an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms contracted through exposure to infested water.

In several parts of the world, insects that live or breed in water carry diseases such as dengue fever. Some of these insects, known as vectors, breed in clean, rather than dirty water, and household drinking water containers can serve as breeding grounds.

Why is sewershed protection essential?

Sewershed protection is an essential proactive approach to address the potential health risks associated with contaminants in sewage.

To protect Sewershed, paired with treatment technologies, can safeguard drinking water supplies by preventing discharges of chemicals that can pass through water treatment systems. 

Similarly, watershed protection features should apply to sewershed security: prioritizing resource allocation, ensuring stakeholder involvement in the development of goals, and finding integrated solutions.

Changes such as these are foundational to a sewershed protection approach. They help to mitigate the risks posed by using sewage as a source of water supply, identify sewer sheds where potable water reuse is a less desirable option, and protect public health in the era of potable water reuse.


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