April 25, 2018, 9:56 pm IST
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Safe and readily available water important for public health

Safe and readily available water important for public health

 Mar 18, 2018

Safe and readily available water is important for public health, whether it is used for drinking, domestic use, food production or recreational purposes.

Improved water supply and sanitation, and better management of water resources, can boost countries' economic growth and can contribute greatly to poverty reduction. In 2010, the UN General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. Everyone has the right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible, and affordable water for personal and domestic use.

Under the Millennium Development Goals, the target of reducing the proportion of the world's population without sustainable access to safe water (MDG 7) was measured by the indicator of the population using improved drinking-water sources, but without taking into account the location, availability, or quality of the water.

Sustainable Development Goal target 6.1 calls for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water. The target is tracked with the indicator of "safely managed drinking water services" – drinking water from an improved water source that is located on premises, available when needed, and priority chemical contamination.

In 2015, 5.2 billion people used safely managed drinking-water services – that is, they used improved water sources located on premises, available when needed, and free from contamination.

The remaining 2.1 billion people without safely managed services in 2015 included: 1.3 billion people with basic services, meaning an improved water source located within a round trip of 30 minutes, 263 million people with limited services, or an improved water source requiring more than 30 minutes to collect water, 423 million people taking water from unprotected wells and springs and 159 million people collecting untreated surface water from lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. (UNI)

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