1. Read the Text and the definition of access
to safe water and answer the following questions:
- What does this
- How is "reasonable"
access defined for people in urban areas?
- How is "reasonable"
access defined for people in rural areas?
- What would you
consider a reasonable amount of time to spend each day getting water?
- How do you and
your family get water?
2. When people drink
contaminated water, they can become ill. Answer each of the following
questions briefly, referring back to the Text
- How many people
suffer each year from diarrheal diseases related to dirty water?
- Which people
or age group(s) are at greatest risk? Why might this be the case?
- If so many people
become ill from contaminated water, why do they drink it?
3. Using the Text
and your own experience, complete the following exercises.
- Make a list of
some of the ways in which you and your community use water. To the
right of each item, write an "H" for household uses or a
"C" for community use. Place an asterisk (*) next to the
items that probably require safe water.
- Which of these
uses are likely to pollute water?
4. Listed below
are some household uses of water and estimates of how much water they
use (based on an industrial country plumbing system). From these estimates,
answer the questions that follow.
gallons of water per flush
teeth, washing dishes, etc.
gallons of water per minute for running tap
gallons of water per minute
gallons of water per bath
- Assuming that
each member of your family had access to 20 liters (approximately
5 gallons) of safe water each day (the amount most often cited as
being "adequate" when defining access to safe water), make
a list of how you would use the water.
- How would you
conserve the water?
- How could you
re-use some of the water for other purposes?
5. In Bangladesh,
the poorest people spend 11 percent of their household income on fuel
to boil their drinking water. In the urban slums of Nigeria, people
spend 18 percent of the household income for water. In Port of Spain,
the capital of Trinidad and Tobago, the poorest people spend 20 percent
of their household income for water.
- Find these three
countries on the Map. What regions do they
- How much would
a family earning $40,000 a year spend for water in each of these countries?
(Convert each percentage to a decimal by dividing it by 100, and then
multiply each decimal by $40,000.)
6. Answer each of
the following questions briefly, referring back to the Text
- What are three
major contaminants that contribute to the scarcity of safe water?
- How can contamination
from human waste be minimized?
- How might contamination
from agricultural and industrial waste be minimized?
7. What does it
mean to say that safe water is an "economic" good?
8. Why is it important
for all of the consumers of water to be part of the decisionmaking processes
concerning safe water and sanitation?
9. Use the Text,
Charts, and Data
Tables to argue for or against this statement:
The poorest people
suffer the most from the lack of safe water.
10. Are there times
when people in your community do not have enough water? When? Why? What
do people do? Are there any government or community policies to help
during these times? If so, what are they?