April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day conceived to raise awareness of the Earth’s environment and our ecological health. Much progress has been made during this time: creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act are just a few examples of how the public and government have worked together to institute environmental change. Much work, however, still needs to be done. According to the World Health Organization, over 80% of disease in the developing world is due to water-related illnesses. Currently, about 20% of the world’s population (roughly 1.1 billion people) lack access to safe drinking water.
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