Journal article Open Access

Clean Drinking Water Global Scarcity: A Review

Maximilian Lackner; Ibrahim Ouattara; Norouz Ali Gharae; Raymond Abolhassani

Clean drinking water is essential. Although 71% of the global population are considered to have access to safe drinking water, non-contaminated drinking water cannot be taken for granted; also bottled water and tap water in industrialized countries can be severely contaminated. This review paper summarizes the findings from the recent literature on drinking water contamination by an- thropogenic sources, viz. chemicals (emerging pollutants) and their degradation products, which can also have disadvantageous effects even at very dilute concentrations. Approx. 1000 compounds are known to be present in drinking waters, at concentrations starting at the ng/L range. Advances on analytics have allowed us to witness now an alarming trend of contamination in drinking water. Not all contaminants are regulated, and more research is needed. Protection of water resources and a careful selection of drinking water sources has become more critical in recent years and will continue to be of utmost importance in future.

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