Worsening water quality reducing economic growth by a third in some countries: World Bank

  1. The World Bank has released a report on the relation between water pollution and economic growth.
  2. The report relied on the biggest-ever database assembled on global water quality using monitoring stations, satellite data and machine learning models.
  3. According to the report,poor water quality is affecting economic growth and worsening health conditions.It says that a lack of clean water limits economic growth by one-third.
  4. The report says that Biological Oxygen Demand(BOD) which is  a measure of organic pollution in water and a proxy measure of overall water quality has passed a certain threshold.
  5. The report also says that nitrogen is a key contributor to poor water quality.Nitrogen is generally applied as fertilizer in agriculture.It eventually enters into the rivers where it transforms into nitrates.
  6. However,when children come into the contact of nitrate,it affects their growth and brain development impacting their health and adult earning potential.
  7. The report also says that salinity in water has reduced the agricultural yields.This has led to enough food being lost each year to feed 170 million people every day.
  8. The report has suggested various measures to reduce water pollution such as (a)Information campaigns to raise awareness (b)Prevention efforts to stem some of the worst problems (c)Legislation and enforcement and (d)Investments to treat pollution once it has occurred.