Changing Climate, Changing Water Availability, and Human Health

Stagnant water isn’t always safe. Click here to read the full article or an excerpt below.

 

However, there is also evidence that transmission of water-borne diseases can be higher in the dry season. For example, during the low flow dry season in the Amazon, cholera outbreaks are more likely because stagnant water allows more pathogens to come aboard.

Preventing water-washed diseases in regions of the world where clean water is readily available usually involves educating people on proper hygiene. However, in parts of the world where water is scarce, there may not be enough clean water for adequate washing of people, their clothing, and homes. And washing with unclean water can also cause disease.

More than two billion people live currently in hot and arid regions of the world. In these areas people are more likely to suffer from higher rates of water-washed diseases related to contamination or insufficient water (as well as a variety of other health issues such as malnutrition.) Many regions that are currently arid are projected to become more arid in the future, increasing the risk of water-washed diseases in these areas.

 

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