Water for Life – Community Water Security

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Water is essential for life. People, animals, and plants all need water to live and to grow. But in many parts of the world people lack enough water to stay healthy. Many people have to travel long distances to collect water. And often, the water that is available is not safe to drink.

If people do not have enough water for their daily needs, they face hardship and serious illnesses. And if the available water is not safe — because it is contaminated with germs, worms, or toxic chemicals — this can also lead to many illnesses.

When a community has a water supply that is accessible (easy to get to) and safe, everyone’s health is improved. If women are freed from the daily labour of carrying and treating water, the well-being of the whole family improves. Children grow healthier and have less of the diarrhoea disease that comes from contaminated water. And women and girls have more time to be part of community life and to go to school.

This booklet describes ways to collect, store, and conserve (save) water, and to protect and treat water so it is safe to drink. This booklet also helps to ensure water security (regular access to enough safe water) by raising community awareness about water problems, and by showing ways to organize for change.

The key topics within the booklet are usefully interspersed with a “story” that provides anecdotal evidence and case study examples of water related issues. Examples of some of the key topics covered are:

  • water security
  • health problems
  • water and HIV/AIDS
  • developing a plan for community water security
  • protecting groundwater sources
  • collecting rainwater
  • safe water transport
  • the Nicaraguan rope pump
  • safe water storage
  • how to make water safe for cooking and drinking
  • international law and the right to water
  • list of key words and where to get more information

The solutions offered here can be applied to small water systems anywhere. As long as all people have a say in how water is collected, conserved, and used, solutions can be found for even the most difficult problems.

Document Information

Document Type Book
Autor Conant, J
Year of Publication 2005
Editor Hesperian Foundation
Número de Páginas 52 pp.
Región / País Global /
Idioma Principal Inglés (en)
Palabras clave Gestión Del Agua, Salud, Medios De Vida
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