The one-day UN Climate Change Summit in New York, the largest of its kind since the 2009 meeting in Copenhagen, has ended with a general consensus from government leaders to commit to action on tacking the impact of global warming.

The summit was widely seen as a five-minutes-to-midnight call for bringing climate change negotiations back on track before global warming reaches a point of no return. It is a move Sweden’s Bluewater™ residential water cleaning company fully endorses, but urges global leaders to also step up to address the very real problem of contaminated tap water, a severe global issue facing industrialized and developing countries alike.

“Climate change is an issue we ignore at our peril and we applaud every effort to work towards finding solutions,” said Bluewater™ managing director, Niclas Wullt.

“But we also want to draw attention to the reality that due to widespread environmental pollution across a spectrum of causes, tap water increasingly contains health and wellbeing threatening contaminants – from chemicals and pharmaceuticals to household cleaners and hormonal drugs.”

Mr. Wullt noted that WHO says that only about one-third of the world’s potential fresh water can be used for human needs due to ‘increased pollution from municipal and industrial waste and the leaching of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture’.

In China, and other industrializing countries across Asia, Latin America and Africa, research is flagging up emerging health hazards arising from the likes of groundwater arsenic contamination, which stems from industrial mining and environmental conditions. A study by Montana State University estimated 70 million people were ‘currently at risk for arsenic poisoning in the Bangladesh area, resulting in a major health crisis and need for clean water’.

“If you believe this problem only relates to third-world or developing countries, think again,” said Mr. Wullt. “From Swiss lakes to Canadian streams to aquifers deep underground, you will find water ‘poisoned’ by a cocktail of hormones, antibiotics and other contaminants in ever growing amounts.”

He noted that just four years ago, a New York Times investigation revealed more than 20 percent of water treatment systems had violated key provisions of the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. And a probe by the Associated Press National Investigative Team also found a vast array of pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.

“As the UN meets in New York to discuss Climate Change, it's maybe time now to understand that while a water tap would be a step up for many millions in developing countries, accessing water does not mean 'safe drinking' water, even in our industrialized countries,” Mr. Wullt said.

He noted how figures from the World Health Organisation and Unicef’s Joint Monitoring Programme suggest that 748 million people lack access to water... yet, research shows that if we include the word 'safe', the figure balloons with some 1.8 billion people thought to lack access to safe water, which equals about 25.3% of the global population of 7.1 billion.

“If nothing else, that figure should act as a call to action by world governments to focus on delivering to people what should be a basic human right – drinking water as pure as nature intended,” Niclas Wullt said.