Climate Change is Contaminating Your Drinking Water 

Climate change and drinking water are inextricably linked. Extreme weather events such as flooding and drought are making drinking water scarcer and more polluted in poor and rich countries alike. Fortunately, household water filters provide a simple and cost-effective tool in the fight against climate change. 

Climate change is already affecting drinking water for people around the world. As weather patterns become more extreme and unpredictable, the amount and quality of water is impacted. Fresh water, already in short supply, will become even more scarce as sea levels rise, infiltrating coastal areas, ruining crops, and tainting drinking water. Heat waves, drought, and heavy rainfall threaten to contaminate the little fresh water left and push water treatment centers to their limits. Thus, it is imperative that we embrace innovative and scalable solutions to ensure equitable drinking water access in the face of climate change.

Flooding Jeopardizes Water Quality and Puts Water Treatment Centers to the Test

When there is heavy rainfall, the associated runoff threatens water quality in the surrounding areas. In rural areas the runoff picks up on agricultural pesticides and animal waste. In cities, flooding can overwhelm sewage systems, contaminating wells and groundwater. As the catastrophic floods in Pakistan and regular flooding in Indonesia demonstrate, it’s the global south’s drinking water supply that is threatened the most. However, developed countries with advanced water treatment facilities are not immune. 150,000 residents in the US state of Mississippi were recently put on a boil water advisory after heavy rainfall overwhelmed a water treatment plant. Similar events have occurred in other developed countries, and we can expect this trend to continue with climate change.

Flooding in Mozambique. Climate change makes thee floods more common. . After the flooding Nazava Water Filters where employed to provide drinking water. Filters

Terrible flooding in Mozambique

Drought and Heatwaves Make Already Dirty Water Even Dirtier

Drought not only causes drinking water supply to decrease, but also leads to lower water quality. This is because as the quantity of water decreases, there is less dilution and increased concentration of contaminants. Heat waves can also damage water infrastructure and boost the development of certain harmful bacteria [1]. According to UNICEF, the number of drought-hit people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia lacking access to safe water rose from 9.5 million in February to 16.2 million in July. In the worst hit areas, bottled water is either unavailable, unsafe, or unaffordable for many households.

Nazava Water Filters Help Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change

Since water filters replace the need for boiling water on wood or LPG, Nazava helps mitigate the worst effects of climate change by reducing CO2 emissions. Additionally, with the increased risk of water contamination due to extreme weather events, Nazava’s water filter technology helps households adapt to climate change. At an average cost of only US$13 per year, Nazava provides one of the most affordable ways for households to ensure safe drinking water access in the face of climate change. In recognition of our applications towards climate change adaptation, we participated in GIZ’s Private Adaptation Investment Bootcamp and our profile is on the GIZ climate adaptation community page.

Climate change makes getting drinking water harder in Ethiopia, Nazava Water Filters help people adapt when their water quality gets worse.

Villagers learning about Nazava Water Filters in Ethiopia

Author: Steven Ramsey, [email protected]


[1]: Delpla, A.-V. Jung, E. Baures, M. Clement, O. Thomas, Impacts of climate change on surface water quality in relation to drinking water production, Environment International, Volume 35, Issue 8, 2009, Pages 1225-1233