Journal of Pure and Applied MicrobiologyVol. 7 No. 2

Water Quality Deterioration and its Socio-economic Implications

Sibanda Timothy and Okoh I. Anthony*

Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Fort Hare. Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa.

Received on 29 September 2012 and accepted on 10 November 2012

 

ABSTRACT

From ancient times, people have chosen to live close to water sources, settling in river valleys. Improved water supply and water resources management boosts countries’ economic growth and contributes greatly to poverty eradication. An adequate supply of safe drinking water is one of the major prerequisites for a healthy life but, because of surface water pollution, waterborne disease became, and still is, a major cause of death in many parts of the world, particularly in children. Rapid urbanisation has exacerbated surface water pollution by increasing point pollution and non-point source pollution entering surface waterbodies. Physico-chemical and microbiological properties of water are used to assess water quality as they give a good impression of the status, productivity and sustainability of waterbodies. Water pollution control has been a matter of public concern for more than a century. Currently, human beings and natural ecosystems in many river basins suffer from debilitating effects of water pollution. Hence, development of better water conservation practices and policies are critical to the sustenance of our water both in terms of quantity and quality to ensure protection of public health.

Keywords : Freshwater, Water quality, Pollution, Public health, Physico-chemical, Microbiological.