Water quality dwindles worldwide as pollution rises.

A United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) pre-study - A Snapshot of the World’s Water Quality: Towards a global assessment has found that water pollution has risen across three continents-Asia, Africa and Latin America, putting hundreds of millions of people at risk. The WWQA pre-study, conducted in 2013-2015, was initiated by the UN-Water Thematic Priority Area on Water Quality and led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with several regional partners. Population growth, increased economic activity, the expansion and intensification of agriculture, and an increase in the amount of untreated sewage discharged into rivers and lakes are the main reasons behind the troubling rise in surface water pollution in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The rise in the pollution of surface waters threatens to damage vital sources of food and harm the continents’ economies. By making access to quality water even more difficult, water pollution also threatens to breed further inequality, hitting the most vulnerable – women, children and the poor – the hardest. Noting that the increasing amount of wastewater being dumped into our surface waters as deeply troubling, the report has called on all nations to come together “to combat this growing menace”. According to the Report, pathogen and organic pollution rose in more than 50 per cent of river stretches from 1990-2010 in all three continents, while salinity pollution has risen in...

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