International Encyclopedia of Public Health, Second Edition - Waterborne Diseases

Elsevier, International Encyclopedia of Public Health (Second Edition), 2017, Pages 388-401
Jeffrey K. Griffiths

Waterborne diseases remain as leading causes of human morbidity and mortality worldwide. Over 95% of these are preventable. Ensuring universal access to water and sanitation, the major preventive action for preventing these diseases, is one of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Although the principles of sanitation and treating drinking water are well known, a lack of capital resources, leadership, and appropriate priority setting has prevented billions of people from having access to these basic resources. Challenges include emerging pathogens resistant to conventional water treatment, chemical contaminants, identifying endemic as well as epidemic waterborne disease, and understanding linkages to the environment. Novel methods for studying waterborne diseases, such as satellite imaging and new mathematical tools, are providing new insights.