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Two Billion People Drinking Contaminated Water: WHO

You would think in this modern age that everyone, everywhere, would have clean drinking water. But the stark reality is that 2 billion people worldwide are drinking contaminated water. Of that number, the World Health Organization says hundreds of thousands die every year because of the bad water, according to phys.org.

If you think this is a problem exclusive to developing countries, think again — and in developed, industrialized countries it’s not just because there is no access to sanitation or hot and cold running water. Here, you’re also dealing with a myriad of agricultural and pharmaceutical contaminants in your municipal water or private wells, as well as old pipes leaching lead. You could almost call what’s happening a war on water.

No matter where in the world it’s happening, the crisis is real and the consequences will be devastating if the war is allowed to continue. A huge concern is that only about 3 percent of the water on Earth is fresh water, which is dependent on rain for replenishment. Fresh water stored in aquifers, meanwhile, is being increasingly depleted, at a rate that cannot be naturally restored.

The answer, obviously, is not to pump out groundwater until it’s gone. What we need is change on a global scale — to industry, agriculture and public policy — to stop the water pollution that's already taking a health and environmental toll. You also can act on an individual level to help the problem and protect yourself.

For starters, choose organically grown foods, which are grown without the synthetic fertilizers that are now devastating so many waterways. In addition, it's best to assume your water is less than pure and take steps to remedy it, such as using a high-quality water filtration system.
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