The world’s water system is facing a number of key challenges. For example, if we continue business as usual, the global demand for freshwater will exceed viable resources by 40% in 2030. Furthermore, increase in pollutants and climate change continue to deplete the quality and amount of available freshwater sources.
People especially those living in the most disadvantaged communities across the world lack access to safe water and sanitation due to water scarcity. Globally, 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion are without improved sanitation. Water-related diseases have caused millions of deaths, mostly in children under the age of five. While the number of deaths and illnesses from these preventable diseases are alarming, the economic impact on the communities in these impoverished countries is even more troubling. Managing water quality is a priority. Regulatory agencies, local governments, and other key stakeholders need to work together to assume their responsibilities towards solving the water problem. Establishing better water management practices, adapting suitable water guidelines, and implementing appropriate water safety measures all have great potential to improve livelihood and enhance economic growth.
This course will help you understand how important water pollution control is and why improving the management of water quality is a critical issue. Throughout the course, you will familiarize yourself with sources of pollutants, key terminologies and background concepts, such as the water cycle. The course will also examine common physical, biological and chemical contaminants in water, and their impacts on human health and natural ecosystems. You will be introduced to treatment options, and the roles and responsibilities of state, local governments and other key stakeholders in preventing water pollution. The course will also introduce the importance of circularity of water resources and end with highlights of some emerging water quality issues.