Water is not only an essential for life and good health, but is a key driver of agricultural production, the economy and global development. However, water is a limited resource and with a largely growing population, water demands are continuously increasing at an uncontrollable and unsustainable rate.
There is vast variability of water supply over time as a result of seasonal cycles and inter-annual variation. The timing of these periods of high and low supply are largely unpredictable and therefore puts stress upon water management at the local, national and sometimes even the global scale (United Nations , N.D.).
Most developed countries have artificially overcome the unreliability of a continuous water supply through the building of various infrastructures such as desalination plants and dams (CSIRO , 2012). While these may assure for a reliable supply of water throughout the year these infrastructures do come with various risks and disadvantages such as high costs and negative impacts upon the environment and sometimes on human health (United Nations , N.D.).
Many less economically developed countries are finding that these solutions alone are not vast enough to overcome the increasing demands from various economic, climatic and environmental pressures (GCSE Bitesize , 2010). There has therefore been a demand for waste-water treatment and water recycling in order to counter the challenges of inadequate water supply (United Nations , N.D.).
Water use across the globe is extremely uneven with MEDC’s using far more per capita in comparison to LEDC’s (CSIRO , 2012). This can be seen in Figure 1 where A developed country such as Canada uses 1550m3 of water a year per capita and a developing country such as Bangladesh uses only 110 m3 of was a year per capita (GCSE Bitesize , 2010).
Priorities also differ greatly between MEDC’s and LEDC’s. This is shown in Figure 1 which demonstrates the differences in water uses from both a LEDC perspective (Banglandesh) and a MEDC perspective (United Kingdom). The United Kingdom appears to use most of their water in Industry and Domestic whereas Bangladesh show to use a vast total of 96.1% of their water supply on Agriculture. While these are only examples, this trend is generally consistent with developed and developing countries (GCSE Bitesize , 2010).
Figure 3 demonstrates the issues with access to potable water. It can be seen that the majour disputes are within the low economically developed countries. Where around ¾ of Africa’s countries have a population less that 65% living without an improved water source.
Small scale, point of use technology appears to be the most effective way of sustaining and providing clean water in LEDC’s (HydrateLife, 2012). However, it primarily depends upon the source of the water and the material that has been picked up by the water stream. Bangladesh is an LEDC with a significant water supply due to the various rivers running through the country (See...