Did you know?
- Nearly half the world’s population live without a 'safely managed sanitation service': a toilet, not shared with other households, that either treats or disposes of human waste on site, stores it safely to be emptied and treated off-site, or connects to a functioning sewer.
- Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces.
- Every day, over 700 children under five years old die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene
For more information, visit the WaterAid UK website.
Water in Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, 65% of people don’t have access to clean drinking water. In this video collection we take a glimpse at the struggles Ethiopians go through each day, just to survive. We look closely at the different methods used to improve the quality of life in the rural highlands as well as the conflict between neighbouring farming villages attempting to share the same water supply. This material forms part of the OU course Environment: journeys through a changing world.
Find out more about water and sanitation
Atoms, elements and molecules are the building blocks of everything that makes up our world, including ourselves. In this free course, Water for life, you will learn the basic chemistry of how these components work together, starting with a chemical compound we are all very familiar with water.Learn more ❯Water for life
Please note, this course was written in 2003/2004 therefore some of the information is now outdated. Water is arguably the most important physical resource as it is the one that is essential to human survival. Understanding the global water cycle and how we use water is essential to planning a sustainable source of water for the future. In the UK there are areas where water supplies are limited, shown by recent droughts. Globally, there are many areas that do not have enough water to support the current population adequately. Decisions will have to be made on the best way to use water in a world where there is climate change. This free course, Understanding water quality, helps explain the options.Learn more ❯Understanding water quality
Water is a natural resource that is vital for human survival and health, although only a tiny fraction of the Earth's supply is available to humans and terrestrial animals. In this free course, Water and human health, we look at threats, such as pollution, to water's capacity to support life around the world.Learn more ❯Water and human health
Do you think about where your water comes from? In the UK each of us uses an average of about 150 litres of water per day! The seven video tracks in this album consider issues of demand and quality in water supply as well as treatment processes. They give information on methods of minimising waste, emergency water treatment and effluent control. This material forms part of T308 Environmental monitoring, modelling and control.Listen now ❯Water Treatment
Have you thought about the journey water makes to get to your taps? What processes has it undergone to make it safe to drink? The tracks in this album examine issues of water supply and treatment in the UK, where each of us uses approximately 150 litres a day! We hear from different parties involved in water management including the bodies representing the consumer, the environment, and the suppliers. The scope of the discussion ranges from wastage and emergency treatment to recycling and effluent control. In two bonus audio tracks, OU lecturer Dr Suresh Nesaratnam explains why the case studies were selected and gives an overview of the academic context in which water supply and treatment is studied. This material forms part of The Open University course T210 Environmental control and public health.Listen now ❯Water supply and treatment in the UK
Without it we are dead! Water is essential, but what processes must it go through to become fit for human consumption? This free course, Potable water treatment, will guide you through the continuous cycling of water between land, open water surfaces and the sea before moving on to an overview of the water treatment and supply process.Learn more ❯Potable water treatment
Do you want to know what’s in the water that you drink? This free course, What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water?, examines the chemical compounds that occur in drinking water. A high level of certain anions in water can cause environmental pollution and health problems. Cations are also important. For example, calcium salts contribute to the hardness of water and water treatment uses aluminium compounds. Additionally oxidising agents, such as ozone or chlorine, are vital in the disinfection of water. This OpenLearn course focuses on the chemistry of the p-block elements in Groups 13 to 18 of the Periodic Table.Learn more ❯What chemical compounds might be present in drinking water?
The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Is there a link between cultural background and water consumption?
Using smart water meters, Sophie Watson, Professor of Sociology at the Open University, has identified water usage trends based on a variety of demographics.Watch now ❯Is there a link between cultural background and water consumption?
Become an OU student
Interested in the environment or international development? Take a look at the online prospectus to discover the many courses and qualifications The Open University has available in these subject areas.