WATER – Water-Related Diseases
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
What Are Water-Related Diseases
Water may carry relevant agents (pathogens) of communicable diseases of man or provide the right environment for the breeding and propagation of their vectors. Irrigation and drainage projects create vast expanses of water. When several ecological conditions meet, they can introduce disease vectors in areas where they did not occur before or to a rapid increase of their initial concentrations. Wherever a parasite or another disease-causing organism is present, and a susceptible human population exists, environmental changes resulting from such projects may profoundly impact disease epidemiology through their effect on vector bionomics. In addition, the disease agent can be introduced by human migration resulting directly from the project development. Disease transmission may be remarkably rapid in densely populated areas associated with irrigated lands. The adverse effects of irrigation may be related to oversights in the initial planning and construction of the system or its mismanagement in the operational phase. Water-related diseases may be avoided or mitigated by good engineering practice and appropriate water management.
Water-related diseases can be classified into the following categories: