World Water Day 2016: Maintaining our most precious resource

Tuesday March 22 is the United Nations World Water Day.

Most people in the developed world take the ability to turn on the tap and access clean, safe drinking water for granted. However, a staggering 1 billion people still do not have access to potable water or improved sanitation. Even the word “access” is misleading, as a 5 km walk every day to collect water, or a running tap in the village every third day is counted as having access to water.

Professor Justin Brookes is working on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6: To ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Justin Brookes research was featured in the Environment Institute Annual Report, you can read his research story by clicking the pages below:

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Justin has also written a report for the UN Chronicle, in which he proposes sustainable development goal 6 can be achieved by applying four main principles:

1. Separating drinking water from waste water
2. Accessing and treating drinking water
3. Protecting and restoring fresh water ecosystems
4. Guaranteeing water access and water rights

Closer to home, Professor Brookes research can be applied to management of water supply in the face of climate change. One particular issue is the interaction between climate change and the increase in nutrients in water reservoirs which can result in the growth of cyanobacterial growth. Of particular concern are compounds produced by cyanobacteria that can not only taint the taste and odour of water, but can be highly toxic.

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