SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 6

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

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OBJECTIVE:
More and more countries are experiencing water stress, and increasing drought and desertification is already worsening these trends. By 2050, it is projected that at least one in four people will suffer recurring water shortages.

Safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 requires we invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities, and encourage hygiene. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems is essential.

Ensuring universal safe and affordable drinking water involves reaching over 800 million people who lack basic services and improving accessibility and safety of services for over two billion. In 2015, 4.5 billion people lacked safely managed sanitation services (with adequately disposed or treated excreta) and 2.3 billion lacked even basic sanitation.

HOW ANIMAL EXPLOITATION UNDERMINES THIS GOAL

Breeding, trapping, raising, and keeping billions of animals as livestock for human usage (such as for food, test subjects, canned hunting, zoological specimens, puppy mills, fur farms, animal blood banks, etc.) requires massive amounts of water, both as drinking water for the animals themselves, and the vast amounts required for irrigation of feed crops for those animals. This in turn creates a phenomenal amount of animal waste which inevitably ends up in environmental water systems, along with agrochemicals used for fertilization and killing of weeds and pests, creating ecological havoc. Startlingly, those last sources of pure water from aquifers are themselves being infiltrated with pollutants both from livestock waste and fracking, both these elements having ties to factory livestock farming.

In developing countries, the keeping of animals for food and/or labor only exacerbates the situation of unclean water considering that waterways become flooded with effluent from human body waste, animal waste, as well as slaughter and processing effluent of both domestic and wild animals in such countries. Even in developed countries, massive amounts of animal waste, stored untreated in lagoons alongside factory farms, are sprayed into the air, causing lung disease, or spilt into waterways, particularly during floods, when the drowned carcasses of animals also spill out and liberate deadly pathogens into the surrounding areas.

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Further Reading:

Goal 6 : Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (United Nations website)

“Animal Agriculture & Water” – By Daryl Elliott, Published December 9, 2018 – https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/09

“WATER SUSTAINABILITY AND ANIMAL AGRICULTURE” – 05.03.2016 by SKF5159 – https://sites.psu.edu

“Meat’s large water footprint: why raising livestock and poultry for meat is so resource-intensive” – 2013/12 – https://foodtank.com/news

“How-does-poor-sanitation-lead-health-problems” – ( Exposure to feces and lack of water are prevalent in third world countries where children and animals intermingle causes diarrhea leading to death, where diarrhea is the leading cause of child deaths.) – https://infonet-biovision.org

“As Dairy Farms Grow Bigger, New Concerns About Pollution” – Run-off from dairy farms and other agricultural activities has seeped into aquifers and elevated levels of nitrogen, in some instances to unsafe concentrations – https://e360.yale.edu/features

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