A new United Nations “Wastewater: A widespread threat and missed resource” video has been created and is being officially launched today – portraying the impacts of wastewater on coastal communities and ecosystems, and the benefits of improving its management. This new video is part of a series of innovative ocean awareness videos titled Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey.
The short video aims to educate the general public about the impacts of wastewater on human health, water bodies and coastal ecosystems, and to highlight that, when adequately managed, wastewater can be a valuable resource.
Approximately 1.8 million children under the age of five die each year due to water-related diseases. In addition to this ongoing human tragedy, unmanaged wastewater destroys aquatic environments worth trillions of dollars in goods and services. Wastewater contributes to “dead zones,” water environments that are almost completely void of life, it contaminates beaches and threatens tourism, and it releases greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
Improving the management of wastewater before it reaches our oceans has countless benefits. For example, when properly treated, wastewater can be reused for agriculture in water-scarce areas, and its sludge can be used to manufacture construction materials, and to generate biogas and biofuel.
Using animation and humor, the videos in this series provide, in clear and simple language, information about cutting-edge science and policy issues regarding our oceans, their importance to human well-being and the many challenges they face. The videos address a wide range of topics including: blue carbon, the true value of our oceans, the impacts of climate change, and pollution threats such as marine litter and nutrient runoff. Each video ends with a call to action for individuals, decision-makers and organizations across the world – inviting them to do their part in solving the problem. The videos are released using web-based marketing tools and are free for all those who want to show or air them.