Improved Sources of Drinking Water

Safe drinking water has been a major public health concern. Source of drinking water regulates the safety of drinking water. UNICEF (n.d.) defined the “improved drinking water sources” as sources “that, by nature of their construction or through active intervention, are protected from outside contamination, particularly fecal matter”. UNICEF(n.d.) categorized public taps or stand popes, tube wells or bore holes, protected dug wells, protected springs and rainwater collection as improved water sources and unprotected dug well, unprotected spring, surface water such as rivers, lakes and ponds as unimproved drinking water sources.

Proportion of global population using improved sources of drinking water increased from 1990(76%) to 2011 (89%) (WHO, 2013). In Europe, 98% of the population has access to improved drinking water sources in 2011 which was 96% in 1990 (WHO, 2013). A significant proportion of the world population are still requiring sustainable access to safe drinking water. Eleven percentage of the global population or 783 million people don’t have access to improved drinking water source (UN Water, 2012). According to CDC (2012), 605 million people won’t be able to access improved water sources in 2015 if the current trend continues.

UN Water (2012) estimated the number of people having access to improved sources of drinking water as two billion between 1990 and 2010. According to WHO(2013), proportion of African population with access to improved drinking water sources increased from 50 percentage in 1990 to 64 percentage in 2011. South East Asia has significant increase in the proportion of people having access to improved water sources. Seventy one percentage of the population in south-east Asia were using improved drinking water sources in 1990 which increased to 90 percentage in 2011 (WHO, 2013).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2012) Assessing Access to Water and Sanitation. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 30 September 2013].
UN Water (2012) Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 30 September 2013].
World Health Organization (WHO) (2013) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Exposure by WHO Region. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 30 September 2013].
UNICEF (n.d.) Access to Water and Sanitation: A Few Definitions. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 30 September 2013].


Technology and Education

Information and communication technology has been used to enhance and improve educational performance of student and institutions. Internet, mobile devices, social web and personal computer are information and communication technological advancements. Economist Intelligence Unit (2008) explained the role of technology in the present ‘knowledge based economy’ in educational transformation and preparation of workforce for global competitive market place. Technological tools such as online educational materials, blogs, wikis, video podcasts, mobile broadband, digital libraries and videoconferencing are enabling students and institutions to achieve educational goals.

Online educational materials help to gain breadth and depth of knowledge and its global coverage assists everyone to access to the resources. Accesses to digital libraries and availability of information on time are internet based learning advantages. Student centred learning can be facilitated by using internet to replace institution and faculty-centred learning (Baer, 1998).

Digital learning and digital publication are internet based educational concepts. Katz (2005) argued about the existence of “digital communities”. Digital libraries are enabling us for web-based learning. We can access information anywhere from the world and we can publish our documents digitally. However reliability, authority and trustworthiness are questions to be answered about digital publication (Katz, 2005).

Use of internet technologies for distance learning has been increased globally. Radio, television, telephone, cable, audiotapes and videoconferencing are the tools and methods used for internet based distance learning (Baer, 1998). According to Baer (1998), distance learning is affected by internet and its functions are interactive communication, on demand, access to course materials, audio visual materials are less expensive.


Economist Intelligence Unit (2008) The Future of Higher Education: How Technology Will Shape Learning. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 25 July 2008].

Baer, W. S. (1998) Will the Internet Transform Higher Education. [Online] Available at Accessed on 12 July 2013].

Katz, S. N. (2005) Why Technology Matters: The Humanities in 21st Century. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 30(2).


Conventional methods of water treatment don’t remove some pollutants persistent at lower concentrations in water. Xylem (2012) referred pollutants at lower concentrations in drinking water as micro pollutants and explained persistence problem or bio accumulation of micro pollutants and endocrine effects or hormonal disruption of humans and animals. Reproductive effects on certain kinds of fish, decrease in fertility in humans and animals and developments of certain types of cancer are possible consequences of Endocrine Disruptive Compound (EDCs) in drinking water (Xylem, 2012).

Ozonation process is effective pollutant removal treatment process where ozone reacts with organic pollutants and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Ozone is highly corrosive and toxic colourless gas and powerful oxidant capable of oxidising organic and inorganic compounds in water (EPA, 1999). Ozone is formed by combining an oxygen atom with oxygen molecule (O2). Ozone reacts with substrate or organic and inorganic compounds by direct oxidation and oxidation of compounds by hydroxyl free radicals (EPA, 1999).

Ozone attacks bacterial membrane either through the glycoproteins or glycolipids or through certain amino acids (Giese and Christensen, 1953 cited in EPA, 1999; Goldstein and McDoriagh, 1975 cited in EPA, 1999; Scott and Lesher, 1963 cited in EPA, 1999) and ozone reacts with nuclear material affecting pyrines and pyrimidine in nucleic acids.

Ozone acts on viral capsid to inactivate viruses and high concentration of ozone dissociates the capsid completely (EPA, 1999). Ozone inactivates RNA and DNA of the viruses. Protein capsid is affected by ozone attack which releases nucleic acid and inactivates DNA (Sproul et al., 1982 cited in EPA, 1999).

Ozonation is employed in bleaching process for pulp bleaching in pulp and paper industry, drinking water treatment such as improvement of flocculation, de coloration, taste/odour removal, iron/manganese removal, disinfection, algae removal and elimination of persistent substances, waste water treatment processes such as elimination of tensides, phenols, COD, process water such as cooling water, swimming pools and product polishing such as chemical modification of food and shelf-life improvement of food [Xylem, 2012; Sato & Saito, 2013].

Ozonation can be applied in water treatment process to remove bacteria, viruses, organic and inorganic pollutants and hazardous chemicals, controls colour, taste and odours and do not require chemicals as ozone is generated on-site [Xylem, 2012]. Ozonation process is also applied in the treatment of waste water contaminating milk and physico- chemically treated municipal wastewater r (Absi et al., n.d.).


Absi, F., Gamache, F., Genr, R., Leichti, P., and Nicell, J. (n.d.) Pilot Plant Investigation of Ozone Disinfection of Physico-Chemically Treated Municipal Waste Water. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 09 November 2013].

Environment Protection Agency (EPA) (1999) EPA Guideline Manual Alternative Disinfectants and Oxidants. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 10 November 2013].

Giese, A.C. and E. Christensen (1954) Effects of Ozone on Organisms. Physiol. Zool. Vol 27, pp. 101 Cited in Environment Protection Agency (EPA) (1999) EPA Guideline Manual Alternative Disinfectants and Oxidants. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 10 November 2013].

Goldstein, B.D. and E.M. McDonagh (1975) Effect of Ozone on Cell Membrane Protein Flourescence I. in vitro Studies Utilizing the Red Cell Membrane. Environ. Res. Vol 9, pp. 179-186 Cited in Environment Protection Agency (EPA) (1999) EPA Guideline Manual Alternative Disinfectants and Oxidants. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 10 November 2013].

Sato, K. and Saito, T. (2013) A Newly Developed Wastewater Treatment by using Solidification Reaction of Milk Fats and Proteins through Ozonation. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 09 November 2013].

Scott, D.B.M. and Lesher, E.C. (1963) Effect of Ozone on Survival and Permeability of Escherichia Coli. J Bacteriol, 85, pp. 567-576 Cited in Environment Protection Agency (EPA) (1999) EPA Guideline Manual Alternative Disinfectants and Oxidants. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 10 November 2013].

Sproul, O. J. et al. (1982) The Mechanisms of Ozone Inactivation of Waterborne Viruses. Water Sci. Technol., 14, pp.303-314 Cited in Environment Protection Agency (EPA) (1999) EPA Guideline Manual Alternative Disinfectants and Oxidants. [Online] Available at [Accessed on 10 November 2013].

Xylem (2012) Ozone Waste Water Treatment: Oxidizing Micropullutants in Water Circulation [Online]. Available at [Accessed on 7 November 2013].