Access to Drinking Water

By Laura Klinnert


Distribution and Health Impacts

Access to safe drinking water is a fundamental human right, yet it remains a significant challenge for millions of people worldwide. Currently, more than one in four people globally lack access to safely drinking water services. Moreover, 40 million to 1.2 billion people are at risk of exposure to chemical contaminants in their drinking water. For example, the excessive presence of fluoride in water supplies poses a serious risk, with around 200 million people facing exposure levels exceeding the World Health Organization’s drinking water limit 1.5mg/L. Geogenic fluoride contamination puts millions of children at risk of developing dental and skeletal fluorosis, highlighting the urgency to address this issue.


Achieving Equality

The United Nations Sustainable Development, in particular the Goal 6.1 aims to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030. This goal emphasizes the need for sufficient water availability when needed, as well as improved access to safe water sources free from microbial contamination. However, achieving this goal is not without its challenges. Ensuring safe drinking water requires addressing not only the issue of availability but also affordability, infrastructure development, and overcoming geographical and socio-economic disparities.

Strategy Proposal Bauxite for Defluoridation

Conventional defluoridation methods, such as reverse osmosis and aluminum electrocoagulation, face challenges regarding cost, complexity, scalability, and water recovery. To overcome these challenges, a strategy proposal involves directly using bauxite, the parent ore of activated alumina, for fluoride removal. Bauxite offers an interesting alternative due to its availability and affordability. Previous studies have highlighted the fluoride-affinity of bauxite from specific sources, including red mud, a residue from alumina refineries. However, most studies did not address the specific dose required to remediate groundwater to meet the World Health Organization's Maximum Contaminant Limit of 1.5 ppm F-. Recent research has shown that differentBauxite sources vary significantly in their fluoride adsorption efficiency, with Indian-sourced bauxite demonstrating the poorest performance due to the presence of calcium carbonate impurities.



Key questions like, how to enhance the efficiency of fluoride removal using bauxite, which factors impacted fluoride removal efficiency, how to improve bauxite adsorption performance, and how to translate lab research into real world applications. By addressing these questions, researchers aim to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and tangible solutions. By developing a low-energy and low-cost processing method, Indian bauxite could serve as a practical and affordable solution to alleviate the chronic suffering of millions. By harnessing the power of bauxite, we can alleviate the suffering caused by fluorosis and bring us closer toachieving universal and equitable access to safe drinking water for all. Access to safe drinking water is a crucial aspect of public health and human well-being.

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