Water is one of the most essential items humans need for survival. We need water for many things like drinking and cooking, but water is also used for many more aspects of life that allow us to stay healthy. Water is used to wash ourselves, wash clothes, cooking, wash dishes and utensils, it is used to keep your house clean. It is used in pools, it keeps plants and crops alive so that we can have agriculture and food to eat. Water is therefore an absolute necessity to human beings and without it, our bodies cannot function and society will come to a halt.


With the second largest population in the world, meaning India equates to approximately 17.86% of the world’s total population. In 2016, India’s population was 1.33 billion and it is continuing to grow. Due to such an enormous amount of people, people in India constantly struggle with poverty; making it much more difficult to gain access to water, let alone potable water. It is hard to calculate the percentage of Indians who live in poverty, but we know that almost 6% if India’s population do not have access to safe drinking water. This means that 76 million people with absolutely no access to safe drinking water. The people who do have access to a water source, are not at a higher advantage compared to those who don't, because the drinking water would most likely be contaminated with disease and unfit to drink.

Two boys fill a container with drinking water from a leaking pipe in Noida, india

These statistics are frightening, considering how essential water is to the survival of the human race. The lack of water resources has considerable fall-out because the growth of Indian children is stunted, diseases caused by the lack of water or the contaminated water and there are many other unfavourable burdens that unsafe water causes.


Australia is home to 24.5 million people, which, compared to India, is a minuscule amount, equating to 0.33% of the world’s total population. 10.2% of Australians live in poverty, which equates to approximately 2.5 million people. Although this figure is not as gargantuan as India’s, it is still an unacceptably large amount of people who wouldn’t have sufficient access to safe drinking water. Access to potable water is a sizeable issue in rural communities.

Clean water can help to break the link between poor hygiene and eye diseases such as trachoma

Many people think that all Australians can gain access to fresh drinking water but this is a deadly fallacy because people are unaware of the vast amounts of Australians in poverty or rural areas who struggle greatly with finding fresh water. People living in rural communities, especially aboriginal communities do not have sufficient access to fresh water, causing diseases and major health problems and repercussions. This heinous problem is rapidly widening the already vast gap between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Australians.


Even India’s capital city, New Delhi has little access to safe drinking water, it is approximated that over 20% of New Delhi's population has no access to potable water. Apart from natural groundwater, New Delhi gets its water from the Ganga Canal, the Bhakra Canal, the Western Yamuna and the Yamuna Canal. It's water and wastewater management is controlled by the Delhi Jal Board, also known as the DJB. Not much is known about the management strategies put in place by the DJB to try and increase the potability of the water.

the WEstern Yamuna canal

Recently, there has been a spike in ammonia levels in the water of New Delhi. This caused suspensions in the water treatment plants but the Delhi Jal Board controlled the situation. Luckily there were no severe consequences or repercussions and the already limited supply water was not suspended for long. This spike in ammonia levels could of had considerable damage because ammonia is a corrosive chemical.

Sydney's Main Water Source

Sydney's main water source is Warragamba Dam. Warragamba Dam covers 9050 square kilometres of land. Warragamba Dam is run by WaterNSW, who have numerous roles including: managing a group of dams and supplying Sydney with raw water and they run catchment protection activities in order to ensure that Sydney gets raw water. Cox's river and the Wollondilly river are the two rivers that flow into Warragamba Dam. WaterNSW have a various amount of management strategies to ensure that Sydney's water is pure and safe to drink. Some of these strategies include pest and weed control, hazard reduction burns, erosion control and tree planting. WaterNSW also educates the local community on how to care for the water and the land to minimise human impact. The government has also provided funding and grants to farmers in the surrounding area so that they can build fences to keep their live stock away from the water to prevent contamination of the dam.


Limited access to potable water is a global crisis and many countries struggle with providing their people with safe drinking water. Luckily there are organisations such as the Water Project, One Drop, and many others among them, who help with providing communities with fresh water and shed light to this deadly problem.


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Rachel Herron

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