World water day on 22 March has been a good opportunity to remind ourselves of the crucial role played by the precious liquid in maintaining good health. More specifically, attention was drawn towards waste water, an issue that will play a pivotal role in the world’s efforts to achieve global development goals and, in doing so, to leave no one behind.
A report from WHO shows that in the WHO European Region, 14 people die every day from diarrhoeal diseases resulting from inadequate water intake or bad sanitation and hygiene. The vast majority of all wastewater from homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused, polluting the environment and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials along the way. Instead of allowing this free flow of wastewater back into nature, it is important to limit the amount of wastewater being produced in the first place and, when it is generated, to safely reuse it. Recycled water can satisfy most water demands, as long as it isA adequately treated to ensure quality that is appropriate for its use.
Through its Sanitation Safety Planning (SSP), a step-by-step, risk-based approach to ensure the safe reuse of wastewater, WHO provides concrete measures to help safeguarding human and environmental health throughout the entire sanitation service chain, particularly as the reuse of wastewater has increased.
On World Water Day, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe further underlined the critical role that safe water and sanitation play in the world’s efforts towards better health. It encourages all countries of the Region to redouble efforts to ensure equitable and sustainable access to water and sanitation.
The Sanitation Safety Planning document is available in full via this link: http://bit.ly/2mTREhG