1.5 - Water Quality Issues and Solutions in Africa
Wandiga, Shem O
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Water is a critical resource whose quality, quantity, availability, and access are unevenly distributed in Africa. The increasing human population, food production, and industrialization add stress to the available water and contribute to its pollution. Technologies for water purification, conservation, and management are available. Monitoring of water quality is essential and requires development of additional capacity of scientists and instrumental infrastructures. New water decontamination and purification technologies with sensitive detection levels are lacking and need further research. Enhanced investment in water management and awareness creation is essential. In summary, Africa as a whole has sufficient water availability. However, it is unevenly distributed across the continent. Rainfall varies spatially and temporally. Extreme weather and climate change/variability worsen the reliability of water supply. The quality of water has deteriorated generally. At present, Africa's water is highly contaminated and needs reliable, accurate, and robust monitoring technologies for quality data generation.