Achieving proper sanitation is an important step in preserving safe groundwater
Each November 19, the United Nations officially observes World Toilet Day. It’s a day to celebrate the lowly toilet, raise awareness of the billions who lack access to adequate sanitation, and to take action to end the global sanitation crisis by achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6): Universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. This year’s World Toilet Day focuses on the importance of protecting groundwater.
Inadequate and nonexistent wastewater treatment hinders these goals.
Almost all of the world’s fresh water in liquid form is groundwater. The majority — 70% — of groundwater withdrawals on earth are used in agriculture. Almost a third of irrigation water comes from underground aquifers.
Substandard sanitation systems allow human waste to enter rivers, lakes, and soil, where it percolates into aquifers to contaminate the groundwater within. Every day, more than 800 children die of diarrhea from unsafe water, poor sanitation, and poor hygiene.
While safeguarding the quality of groundwater is of utmost importance, it exists underground in aquifers, so it remains hidden from sight and, all too often, out of mind. And, groundwater contamination so frequently affects the poorest and most marginalized communities.
With its theme of “Making the Invisible Visible,” World Toilet Day seeks to change that. The main message of this year’s theme is that safely managed sanitation protects groundwater from contamination with human waste.
Extending Sanitation Service
How do we extend sanitation services to poor and marginalized communities with little access to infrastructure investment capital? Various governmental initiatives around the world have been launched to meet SDG6.
In the United States, for instance, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has placed special emphasis on extending water and sanitation service to remote communities and tribal lands with a $50 billion investment to be distributed through the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs).
At Seven Seas Water Group, we’re helping make sanitation infrastructure available for communities that lack organizational resources and access to infrastructure investment capital through our Water-as-a-Service® (WaaS®).
WaaS® provides domestic wastewater infrastructure with flexible in-house financing. Our clients pay for only the water services they use at a guaranteed price and quality. They are then free to return to other matters secure in the knowledge that water professionals are taking care of their wastewater treatment system because the contracts include long-term operations and maintenance.
The effluent from Seven Seas wastewater treatment plants is safe for many nonpotable applications, including irrigation, and can be discharged into the environment without fear of endangering the quality of groundwater in aquifers.
The U.N. warns that action on sanitation is urgent. Work toward providing safe toilets and sanitation for all by 2030 is seriously behind schedule. With only eight years to go, we need to work faster to achieve SDG6. Seven Seas is ready to put your community ahead of the global curve approaching SDG6, even in the absence of initial investment capital. Contact Seven Seas to find out more about WaaS®.
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