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World Water Day: Valuing Water
World Water Day is an annual United Nations Observance focusing on the importance of freshwater and raising awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. World Water Day was celebrated on March 22, 2021 in an online event. The World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the global water crisis, and a core focus of the observance is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
Originally started in 1993, this year’s theme of World Water Day 2021 is valuing water. The value of water is about much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource. SDG 6 is to ensure water and sanitation for all. Without a comprehensive understanding of water’s true, multidimensional value, we will be unable to safeguard this critical resource for the benefit of everyone. Today, water is under extreme threat from a growing population, increasing demands of agriculture and industry, and the worsening impacts of climate change.
To recognize, highlight, and raise awareness on the value of water, Elsevier presents a curated list of free access journal articles and book chapters. At Elsevier, we are advancing #SDG6 research and ensuring that #Everydrop counts.
Featured Book Chapters Include:
Nanomaterials Applications for Environmental Matrices
Chapter 4 – “Microbe Decontamination of Water”
By Andreia Fonsecade Faria
The United Nations expects that one quarter of the world’s population will face water shortages by 2050. Expanding population and climate change have collaborated to increase water stress in many parts of the globe that are already suffering from substantial water scarcity. Along with a lack of political initiatives and infrastructure, drought, irrational use of water resources, and the contamination of groundwater and fresh surface water are reasons why clean water is becoming a precious commodity. Contaminants, such as heavy metals, hormones, and pathogenic microorganisms, enter water supplies through the deliberate disposal of municipal, industrial, and agricultural wastes. Particularly, the consumption of water contaminated with pathogenic microbes poses a great threat to humans and animals. Conventional approaches for water disinfection consist of the use of free chlorine, ozone, and UV-irradiation. However, conventional technologies, such as chlorination, are often risky due to the production of toxic byproducts or can be costly as in the case of UV-radiation exposure. To address this challenge, materials science, through the development of antimicrobial nanomaterials, has provided alternative solutions to the problem of water disinfection and treatment. The objective here is to offer a systematic, concise, and comprehensive overview of the development of nanomaterials for water disinfection, and their advantages, limitations, and future perspectives. Herein, the discussion will be focused on carbon nanomaterials (graphene-based materials, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes), metallic nanoparticles, photocatalytic particles, and hybrid materials.
Decontamination in Hospitals and Healthcare, 2nd Edition
Chapter 3 – “Quality and supply of water used in hospitals”
By E. Maynard and C. Whapham
This chapter provides an overview of the management of water provision, treatment technologies, and on-site water risk control to assure patient safety in healthcare facilities. It reviews water and healthcare public health in prevention and control of avoidable waterborne infections, addressing water hygiene and detailing water treatment methods, technologies, and sustainability in future development. Water use, applications, and key relevant guidance are included, addressing requirements for water quality, integrating augmented care units, clinical practice management, and tools addressing the risk of infection to patients, using a water safety management plan approach.
International Encyclopedia of Public Health, Second Edition
“Drinking Water and Sanitation”
By Michelle V. Fanucchi
Better water and sanitation are two of the most important public health priorities worldwide. Currently, 663 million people across the globe still lack access to improved drinking water sources, and 2.4 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation facilities. In addition, 25% of the world’s population to live with water scarcity by 2050. The health cost of not having these needs met is often born by socioeconomically disadvantaged. A multidisciplinary approach to these problems is important as poverty, with its associated unsanitary living conditions and lack of access to water, proper nutrition, health care, and education, is the overwhelming determinant of infection and malnutrition.
Encyclopedia of Sustainable Technologies
“Sustainable Water Management—A Strategy for Maintaining Future Water Resources”
By Grace Kam Chun Ding and Sumita Ghosh
Water is a finite natural resource that is essential for our survival. Over the years the reserves of freshwater are running low and some regions in the world are faced with severe water stress. Climate change has impacted the pattern and amount of precipitation and the water shortage has escalated with rapid population growth and urbanization. As a result, we and the natural environment are confronted with a serious water shortage. Sustainable water management is a strategy for maintaining future water resources that include increasing water supply and managing the way we use freshwater to sustain economic growth for current and future generations. This article aims to discuss the state-of-the-art of managing water supply and demand as a natural resources and what indicators are being developed to identify water scarcity worldwide. The article reviews the technologies that have been developed to implement sustainable water management at the community scale, demonstrated with case studies.
Drought Early Warning and Forecasting
Chapter 1 – “Droughts, governance, disasters, and response systems”
Chris Funk and Shraddhanand Shukla
This chapter places droughts in historic context. Since the beginning of history, periodic droughts have had large impacts on many societies. These impacts have been especially severe in agricultural civilizations that depend heavily on precipitation for bountiful harvests. Historically, these harvests provided the critical resources that enabled the advancement of ancient humanity, allowing our ancestors to build cities, pursue trades, and develop sophisticated religious and cultural systems. Droughts have long played a major disruptive role in history, threatening the stability of human society. Here, we briefly review the relationship between civilizations and drought, stressing the link between agriculture and drought impacts. We then introduce the topic of modern drought prediction, highlighting the seminal contributions of Sir Gilbert Walker, and describing climate mechanisms associated with the Southern Oscillation and the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool. To conclude, we will provide a summary description of the phases of early warning.
Chapter 25 – “Sustainability of groundwater used in agricultural production and trade”
By Carole Dalin
Irrigation worldwide is a major driver of the rising pressure on water resources. In particular, the use of nonrenewable groundwater in agriculture has tripled between 1960 and 2000. On a global average, 20% of current irrigation water is nonrenewable groundwater. Consequently, aquifer levels and groundwater reserves are quickly falling in many regions. Groundwater depletion is a major concern notably because groundwater can be an essential alternative water source during droughts, which are becoming more frequent under climate change. While water resources management is essentially a local issue, global trade strongly connects food-producing regions, using water resources, to remote locations where these commodities are consumed. A growing body of research is analyzing this connecting phenomenon, called virtual water trade (VWT)—the exchanges of products requiring water resources to be consumed for their production. VWT highlights that nations that are importing agricultural products often rely on their trade partners’ water resources. This dependence can be a risk to both producers and importers if agricultural water use is unsustainable. While recent efforts have been made to estimate this sustainability, a number of challenges remain, in particular evaluating the sustainability of groundwater use. This chapter examines the emergence of water sustainability aspects in recent VWT literature, highlights the recent advances and remaining issues in evaluating the water sustainability of agriculture globally, and makes recommendations for future scientific research and societal change: consider groundwater both at the local scale and at the global scale; improve our understanding of groundwater storage and dynamics with new models and data; and raise the profile of groundwater sustainability in governance frameworks to eventually end environmental damages of groundwater exploitation.
Advances in Chemical Pollution, Environmental Management and Protection, Volume 6
Chapter 1 – “Treatment options for the direct reuse of reclaimed water in developing countries”
By Tamires Lima, DaSilvaa Rodrigo, Máximo Sánchez-Romána, João Gabriel Thomaz, Queluzb Talita, and Aparecida Pletsch
Reclaimed water may be defined as wastewater treated for a specific purpose. To be safely reused as reclaimed water, wastewater must receive adequate treatment to meet the quality requirements designed to minimize negative environmental impacts and to ensure the protection of public health. For developing countries, treatment methods that are expensive and/or complex to operate are not ideal due to local technical, financial, and managerial limitations. Thus, low-cost wastewater treatment technologies are often the best fits for developing nations. Nonetheless, low-cost wastewater treatment solutions are usually unable to treat wastewater for potable reuse due to the high quality required for this purpose. However, these technologies can efficiently treat wastewater for other purposes, such as irrigation. Irrigation with wastewater that has often not been properly treated or that remains untreated is already a common practice in many developing countries. Besides being a non-conventional water and nutrient resource for agricultural production, irrigation with untreated wastewater represents an epidemiologic risk to farms, consumers, and surrounding communities. Considering the importance of the development of applicable wastewater treatment options for developing countries in order to provide safe direct reuse of reclaimed water, this chapter will present three low-cost treatment solutions based on solar energy disinfection, phytoremediation, and a combination of biofiltration and solar energy disinfection. The wastewater treatment systems were designed to treat wastewater to the microbiological quality threshold recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for unrestricted irrigation (fecal coliform ≤ 1000 MPN/100 mL).