Importance of potable water during disasters.
What is the basis for all life? Water! Water is an absolute necessity for any form of life. To start life you need water! Water guarantees the physiological functions of the body throughout life time! Water enables all life including plants and animals to grow and water can even finish lives. We need to cultivate our lands and keep life stock and people alive and healthy. We all need water to survive.
In some parts of the world water is not always easily available. Climate change is leading to significantly drier lands causing emigration of people from their homes is search for seemingly for better places. Over crowded cities, poor infrastructure and dirty water can ignite, accentuate or even accelerate the spreading of disease. This leads to nervous crowds, mass panic and political systems falling out of control.
Natural disasters like floods, cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and avalanches are well known to us all to be frightening, disastrous and can be fatal. They can hit at any time and with little or no warning. Many people die some from the initial impact of the disaster, others due to the poor hygiene and a shortage of fresh drinking water. Who knows what the future holds? Not only are we at risk of these natural disasters but there is also a risk of “war of water” particularly where water becomes extremely precious in a supply shortage. This would change our world dramatically it would destabilise social systems and without a doubt threaten global peace.
Potable water is safe for consumption by humans and animals and is often referred to as drinking water in reference to its intended use. Water may be naturally potable as it is in springs or may need to be treated to make it safe. In either instance water has to be tested and assessed to look for potentially harmful contaminants. Potable water helps to control the spread of infectious disease and assists support in vital hygienic and sanitary circumstances. In emergency situations potable water is extremely necessary. Water which is not safe to drink can carry diseases and heavy metals. People who consume this water will become ill, and there is a risk of death. Unfortunately, even in areas where the water is known to be unsafe, people may drink it anyway, out of desperation. The lack of potable water is often accompanied by other lapses in sanitation, such as open sewers and limited garbage collection. Many of these public health issues impact the poor more than anyone else.
People who are forced to live in camps and small confined spaces for a lengthy amount of time after a natural disaster strikes, potable water of the highest quality reduces the risk of epidemic plagues like Cholera or Typhus. These diseases are caused by contaminated water and kill thousands of vulnerable people especially babies, small children and the elderly but potable water can reduce the risk to almost zero percent.