It’s 2017, and yet amazingly, 1.8 billion people are still using sources of drinking water which are contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. Annually, dirty water is thought to cause around 842,000 deaths.
To help increase awareness of the issue, UK bottled water manufacturer One Water is trailing a new ‘dirty’ water bottle; the water inside is clean, it’s just the wrapper around the bottle that makes it look dirty. The company puts a share of its profits into clean water projects around the globe, and is looking to raise £20m for water projects by 2020.
Duncan Goose, who founded the business based in London, said: ‘By 2020, the British population will consume close to 4.8 billion litres of bottled water per year, which adds up to more than 70 litres of bottled water for everyone in the UK. I wanted to turn this into a force for good – a source of funds that benefits the billions of people worldwide who don’t have a reliable clean water source.
‘It seems counter-intuitive to be trying to sell a bottle of water that looks dirty, but we think it’s a useful moment of reflection in our busy days and an opportunity to support a business that pours its profits into clean water for everyone.’
The theme for World Water Day 2017
This year’s theme is ‘why waste water?‘ because as much as 80% of the clean water we use is wasted. The UN have produced a short video on just how much we waste, as well as tips and advice on how to reduce the amount we use.
By 2050, estimates put 70% of the world’s population within cities (compared to around 50% today). Most cities, particularly in developing countries, do not have the adequate infrastructure and resources to address wastewater management in an efficient and sustainable way.