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Myth or Fact? Five Insights Into the Water Crisis

Test your knowledge of the clean water crisis and all its complexities.

For some, the water crisis is a distant issue humming in the background of the world’s problems. For others, it is an issue woven into their everyday lives that demands constant attention. Whether you feel out of touch with the water crisis or are all too familiar with it, these water crisis myths and facts are worth knowing and sharing.

World Water Day takes place on March 22nd every year. This is a great excuse to take a little time to learn about the water crisis and how you can help. 

To address this glaring problem, we all need to work together. See if you know which of the following are water crisis myths or facts, then share this article to bring awareness to others who are willing to join the cause.

The Water Crisis Only Affects Developing Countries

Myth. While it is a common misconception to view the water crisis as a problem that only impacts faraway lands, the issue hits closer to home than many of us realize. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 2.2 million Americans who don’t have running water or plumbing in their homes.

For example, the Navajo Nation is home to almost 170,000 residents. According to National Public Radio, nearly a third of people don’t have access to clean water, which is why WorldServe International is dedicated to changing this.

People Who Grow Up Drinking Dirty Water Become Immune to Waterborne Diseases

Myth. People who must resort to using dirty water are exposed to a plethora of waterborne diseases. While building resistance to some of them is possible, it is unlikely that anyone could become immune to all of the bacteria and viruses they may encounter when drinking dirty water.

Additionally, children who have to drink polluted water don’t yet have fully developed immune systems, putting them at a higher risk of disease. To put it in perspective, UNICEF states that children who live in places with conflict are 20 times more likely to die from diseases caused by unclean water or a lack of hygiene than violence.

One Million People Die From Waterborne Diseases Every Year

Fact. It is a disturbing fact that an estimated one million people die every year because of diseases resulting from the use of unclean water, according to the World Health Organization.

A few of these diseases are cholera, hepatitis A, and typhoid.

As Long as You Don’t Get Sick From Dirty Water, It Won’t Affect You That Much

Myth. While illnesses that result from contaminated water are a pressing issue, the issue is not as simple as avoiding disease. The water crisis is a complex problem affecting everything from economic systems to whether or not an area is in conflict.

For example, even if an individual never gets sick from drinking dirty water, someone else in their family might get sick. This person could be the main breadwinner, thus impacting the entire family. Additionally, many children spend hours walking to collect water. This pulls them away from school, thus robbing them of future employment opportunities that would have resulted from getting an education.

Moreover, tension between communities and even countries often results from water scarcity, according to the United Nations. This is why the theme of this year’s World Water Day is “water for peace.”

One Person Only Needs Five Gallons of Water Per Day

Fact. The World Health Organization recommends that individuals need a minimum of 20 liters (about five gallons) of water each day. This includes water for both drinking and hygiene.

While that may not sound like much, five gallons of clean water can, unfortunately, be unbelievably hard to come by. This is why we must all band together to fight the water crisis.

Which of these water crisis myths or facts stood out to you the most?

You may have been shocked a time or two or already known all of the information about the water crisis above. Either way, keeping this issue at the forefront of our minds is the first step in resolving it.

Together, we can change the trajectory of the water crisis.

Know any other interesting water crisis myths or facts?

Tell us in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. A lot of people think you can build up immunity to dirty water. Building up an immunity to Cholera is not a thing.

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