In the Contemporary Age (1790 to the present day), thermodynamics revolution, made possible by the steam engine, stimulated the acceleration of the production process, generating a strong environmental and socioeconomic impact. The fight against water pollution had intensified in France, when in 1829, laws were created which provided punishment by a fine or imprisonment for those who throw products that would provoke the water poisoning or fish destruction.
The implementation of sanitation began, as well as its administration and legislation together with other public services. In England, industrial waste was included in the British law of control of water pollution. With the development of large industrial centers, a process of migration from rural areas began, and immigrants were living in poor housing and work conditions, mortality and diseases have increased considerably. Cholera led to the death of 180 000 people in Europe, and John Snow proved the origin of the disease on the London water.
A study by Edwin Chadwick in 1842 formed as basis for the development of relations between sanitation and health, thus initiating preventive medicine. The hygienist vision became dominant in the late nineteenth century, and in France, the urban medicine was implemented, which aims at spaces of cities, disciplining the location of cemeteries and hospitals, winding streets and public buildings. In 1875, Brazil began using cast iron pipes in the water adduction of Rios d´ouro and São Pedro, to supply Rio de Janeiro. In Diamantina, Minas Gerais, the first hydroelectric in the country for mining was built in 1883. Six years later, in Juiz de Fora, the first hydroelectric was built for public supply. In 1893, it was created the Bureau of Water and Sewage of the city of São Paulo, with the impairment of the Company. Cantareira, private company responsible by the water supply.
Currently, about one billion people lack access to clean water in the world. It is estimated that about two billion people will suffer from a shortage of drinking water by mid-century if no action is taken to preserve and recover water resources. About 80% of diseases detected in the world are still related to inadequate water control and six thousand children die every day from diseases related to unsafe water and inefficient sanitation and hygiene.