Access to water


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Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of people, especially, children every day. Much higher is the number of people that are impoverished and have diminished opportunities. Repercussions of unsufficient acces to water make people, especially women and children, spend large parts of their day fetching water. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer. Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible. Over 884 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. [1]

The 7th Millennium Development Goal is to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Definition for the Millennium Development Goals

"Access to improved water":

  • Improved drinking water technologies are more likely to provide safe drinking water than those characterized as unimproved. A household is considered to have access to an improved water supply if it uses improved drinking water sources or delivery points (listed below).
  • Improved drinking water sources include: piped water into dwelling, plot or yard; public tap/standpipe; tube well/borehole; protected dug well; protected spring; and rainwater collection.
  • Unimproved drinking water sources include: unprotected dug well; unprotected spring; cart with small tank/drum; bottled water2 ; tanker-truck; and surface water (river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal, irrigation channels)."[2]

See also

Video: OECD Secretary General says water is a precious resource and must be priced accordingly.


Access to Services


External links


  1. UNICEF, "Water, Sanitation and Hyghiene: Introduction", accessed on 28 June 2011,
  2. United Nations Statistics Divsion, "Millennium Development Inidcators; Imporovement in the lvis of at least 100 million slum dwellers", accessed on 29 June 2011,

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