Waterborne diseases cause a huge disease burden while also resulting in significant loss of life. It is a major cause of death in children under five. Water polluted by industrial and agricultural activities can contain synthetic and organic compounds that are toxic to all life. These pollutants can accumulate in groundwater, contaminate aquifers, and cause poisoning in humans. Water with excessive nutrient loading can lead to the eutrophication of water sources and soil and the growth of harmful algae, threatening aquatic biodiversity. Moreover, emerging water pollutants like pharmaceuticals and personal care products strain water resources, with long-term effects on human health and ecosystems.
In developing countries, contamination results from domestic and industrial activities, population pressure, weak governance, and poor management. For instance, huge volumes of untreated wastewater are dumped into the environment in Africa. This increases the risk of diseases, the contamination of fish and irrigated crops, and the loss of livelihoods, devastatingly affecting communities.
According to a 2020 WaterAid India and UNICEF report, waterborne diseases are estimated to pose an economic burden of approximately USD 600 million per year due to poor sanitation, inadequate water supply, and unhygienic practices. Thus, the surge in waterborne diseases drives the adoption of wastewater treatment systems, driving the growth of this market.
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