Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Environmental Analysis
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

World Water Monitoring Day 2012: Microbes a Major Threat to Potable Water

Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Last Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Non-profit trying to address the issue by increasing access to safe drinking water.

September 18 is World Water Monitoring Day, an event coordinated by the Water Environment Federation and International Water Association as part of the World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC).

The event encourages people, especially children, to test their local water sources for a variety of characteristics, such as temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen content.

The initiative does an excellent job highlighting the importance of keeping waterways clean, but World Water Monitoring Day fails to address one of the biggest threats to potable water - microorganisms.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states: “Infectious diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and helminths are the most common and wide-spread health risk associated with drinking water.”

Drinking water contaminated with pathogenic organisms is practically a non-issue in developed countries.

In fact, waterborne disease outbreaks are major news events when they do occur, as when the 1993 outbreak in Milwaukee, WI, of Cryptosporidium, a protozoan infection, that made over 400,000 people ill.

Cholera, caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, is a notorious waterborne disease.

In the 19th century, cholera was one of the most widespread and deadly diseases, but it is no longer a threat in the United States or Europe.

Unfortunately, cholera is still a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the developing world.

The WHO estimates that cholera infects 3–5 million people and is responsible for approximately 100,000 deaths per year.

Therefore, the morbidity and mortality associated with cholera is much less than malaria or tuberculosis, but when the burdens of all waterborne diarrheal disease are combined, the WHO estimates that they are responsible for over 4% of the total disability-adjusted life year (DALY) global burden of disease.

Organizations such as the non-profit are trying to address this issue by increasing access to safe drinking water. has formed strategic partnerships with corporate foundations, including PepsiCo, Caterpillar, and MasterCard.

These alliances have helped make significant progress, but it estimates that 50% of water projects fail due to a lack of community involvement.

Collaboration between and WWMC could overcome this concern.

WWMC has achieved international involvement, including several countries that have elevated incidences of waterborne disease (e.g., India, Cameroon, and Kenya).

A WWMC/ partnership would enable the organizations to focus on their strengths.

Hopefully the two groups can collaborate soon as UNICEF estimates that a child dies from water-associated diarrhea every 20 seconds.

WWMC could foster community support through education and outreach, and could coordinate and help finance the water projects using its corporate contacts.

This synergy could also help reduce costs, which would enable more funding for this mission.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
Microbe Sleuth
Tanja Bosak examines how life and the Earth evolved in tandem during their early history together.
Messing With The Monsoon
Manmade aerosols can alter rainfall in the world’s most populous region.
Plastic for Dinner
Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.
Seeking “Gold Standard” Wastewater Treatments
Metagenomic analyses lend insights into how microbes break down wastewater contaminants.
Preventing Drinking Water Contamination by Pharmaceuticals
In recent years, researchers have realized that many products, including pharmaceuticals, have ended up where they’re not supposed to be — in our drinking water.
Low-level Arsenic Exposure Before Birth Associated with Early Puberty in Female Mice
Study examine whether low-dose arsenic exposure could have similar health outcomes in humans.
Intensity of Desert Storms May Affect Ocean Phytoplankton
MIT study finds phytoplankton are extremely sensitive to changing levels of desert dust.
Determination of Phosphate in Soil Extracts in the Field: A Green Chemistry Enzymatic Method
New method for phosphate determination which can be carried out in the field to obtain results on the spot.
Open-Source Photometric System for Enzymatic Nitrate Quantification
New method proposed for developing a cheaper, more accessible open-source water testing platform capable of performing Nitrate Reductase Nitrate-Nitrogen Analysis.
Toxic Algae is a Threat to Our Water
A report concludes that blooms of toxic cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, are a poorly monitored and underappreciated risk to recreational and drinking water quality in the U.S., and may increasingly pose a global health threat.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos