Rainy Countries ‘Still Lacking Clean Drinking Water’

Despite the hot and dry conditions the UK saw over the summer, we should all still thank our lucky stars that we had access to clean drinking water and that we never had to question our supply coming out of the tap.


Sadly, in some of the wettest countries to be found around the world – which see more rainfall than even us here in the UK – this clean water is incredibly difficult to come across.


Part of the problem is that the rainfall these countries see isn’t like what hits the UK – instead of raining all year, a lot of these nations get their rainfall in just one season, followed by heavy drought. And climate change certainly isn’t helping matters in any way whatsoever.


Research from charity WaterAid shows that countries that have higher rainfall than the UK but low access to clean water include Papua New Guinea, where climate change effects such as extreme weather and rising sea levels have tainted groundwater – so the majority of the water is unsafe to drink, despite the country seeing an average of 3,055mm of rain each year. In contrast, the UK gets 1,248mm annually.


Sierra Leone is another country facing similar struggles. Although it’s twice as wet as the UK, 42 per cent of people lack basic access to clean water. And in Liberia, one of the wettest countries in the world, one-third of the population has no access to clean water.


Senior policy analyst on water security and climate change at WaterAid Jonathan Farr commented: “Not having clean water to drink is not, for most people, due to a lack of rain. For the one in nine people around the world – 844 million – who do not have clean water close to home it is usually because there is not enough investment in systems to ensure rainwater is captured, stored, treated and piped effectively.”


“WaterAid calls for governments to prioritise the provision of safe water, and works with decision makers to provide lasting services that ensure that no one is left behind.”


How can rainwater be used to help?


You might want to look into how you can take advantage of rainwater harvesting systems here in the UK if you want to safeguard your own water supply for the future, particularly during times of drought – which we very nearly experienced this summer.


It’s a relatively simple process, just collecting and storing the rainwater that is left on your roof area. This water is then filtered and reused instead of your mains water supply, with typical applications including toilet flushing, laundry and process water, and vehicle washing.


Businesses all over the world face a growing need to use their water supply better and more effectively, thanks to rising demand for water as well as heightened concerns about the environmental and social impact of running a company. Get in touch with us here at H2O Building Services to find out more about rainwater harvesting.