Water is a basic need of every human. Every individual needs water to survive, but the quality of water we consume should be of topmost importance. This is because the consumption of contaminated water can have serious repercussions on our health.
According to the data available on the website of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), more people are killed by contaminated water than by war and other kinds of violence. This figure is a direct indication of the serious health consequences associated with unsafe water.
Let’s take a look at how contaminated water impacts individuals, society, and the government.
The Prevalence of Endemic Diseases
The consumption of contaminated water can result in various endemic diseases. The issue of contaminated water is prevalent even in developed countries like the US.
In fact, every single state of the country serves tap water filled with different contaminants like arsenic, lead, copper, etc. The problem is even more serious, considering that roughly 40% of Americans depend on groundwater. These findings are available on the NRDC’s website.
The case of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination is an example where the entire population was exposed to toxic chemicals that were found in their drinking water supply, creating an epidemic of diseases like cancer.
The water that was being supplied to the base was contaminated with industrial solvents and other harmful substances. This resulted in many illnesses among the residents of Camp Lejeune, including cancer, birth defects, and other diseases.
Moreover, the contamination affected unborn children and pregnant women. In fact, children born between 1968 and 1985 whose mothers consumed contaminated drinking water while living at Camp Lejeune experienced neural tube defects (NTDs), according to the study by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).
Thus, it’s not wrong to say that the consumption of contaminated water can result in the endemic of severe diseases. However, the affected people later filed the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit to seek compensation for their suffering and other losses.
The benefits of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit are many. For example, compensation will be paid to the affected individuals who lived at the camp during the contamination period. Secondly, this will help prevent similar incidents from happening again in future military bases in America or elsewhere around the world.
Heavy Financial Burden on the Government
In addition to the human toll of contaminated water, there are serious financial burdens on the government. If a government does not have the resources to properly regulate or treat its water, it will have to pay for expensive treatment and testing programs that can be extremely costly.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), maintaining the current drinking water and wastewater service levels in the US will cost $750 billion over the next 20 years.
This massive amount would only rise in the upcoming years. If we don’t do something about this problem now, we are going to have a much bigger financial burden on our government in the future.
Moreover, another cost of contaminated water is health care costs. When people get sick from drinking contaminated water, they have to go to the hospital and get medical care. In such cases, the government funds the medical bills and associated treatment costs through programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
In addition, contaminated water can lead to reduced productivity at work due to illness, which can increase the financial burden on the government. If workers cannot work because they are sick from drinking contaminated water, then their employers will lose money because those workers won’t produce anything for them during that time period.
This will create economic uncertainty, forcing the government to spend resources to manage the problems that are associated with such an unstable situation.
Leads to Migration
The WHO has predicted that by 2025, roughly 50% of the global population will live in areas facing water scarcity. This figure implies that millions of people will be forced to migrate in search of clean water.
This is already happening. In fact, migration is one of the reasons why there are so many people living in urban centers these days. And it’s not just humans who need water: the livestock industry is another big reason for migration. When farmers aren’t able to grow enough food for their animals on their farms, they’ll often move into cities with more abundant resources and start over there.
The consumption of contaminated water also leads to migration because it is an important factor contributing to disease and disability. Waterborne diseases are among the leading causes of death globally and are responsible for a large number of deaths from diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, and other illnesses.
The effects of migration can be devastating for families and communities, who may be separated for years at a time. In addition, migrants often face discrimination when they arrive in new areas, which can lead to further difficulties integrating into their new communities.
The costs of the consumption of contaminated water are huge. The effects are not just limited to health but also to the economy and society.
The good news is that it’s easy to change the situation just by being more aware and sharing the responsibilities. By working together as a community, we can invest in infrastructure upgrades, educate ourselves on how to prevent contamination, and create an environment where everyone has access to clean water.