World Bank releases a report titled ‘Quality Unknown: The Invisible Water Crisis’

The World Bank (WB) has recently released a report titled ‘Quality Unknown: The Invisible Water Crisis’ to address human and environmental harm. The study evaluated how a combination of bacteria, sewage, chemicals and plastics suck oxygen from water supplies and transform water into poison for people and ecosystems. Both rich and poor countries are at risk from poor water quality as a result of pollution. The researchers noted that a key contributor to poor water quality is nitrogen, which, applied as fertiliser in agriculture, eventually enters rivers, lakes and oceans where it transforms into nitrates. Early exposure of children to nitrates affects their growth and brain development, impacting their health and adult earning potential. The report also found that when Biological Oxygen Demand (an indicator of overall water quality) crosses a certain threshold, GDP growth in areas affected by the problem drops by as much as a third because of the impact on health, agriculture and ecosystems.

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