The Need for Safe Drinking Water
Clean drinking water is something we in developed countries take for granted, but about one sixth of the world’s population do not have ready access to clean drinking water. The majority of these people live in developing countries. The scale of the global problem is now widely recognised and it is accepted that access to water is fundamental to health and well-being, as well as sustainable economic development.
Despite several major initiatives over the last 50 years the scale of the problem remains unresolved :
- around 800 million people do not have access to safe water (WHO/UNICEF)
- 1.4 million children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation (WHO/Water Aid)
Meeting The Need
At the Millennium Summit in September 2000, the Ministerial Declarations included, among others, Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 7:
- To halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of people who are unable to reach, or to afford, safe drinking water.
- To stop the unsustainable exploitation of water resources, by developing water management strategies at the regional , national and local levels, which promote both equitable access and adequate supply.
Progress has been made towards achieving MDG 7 in some countries, but it is currently accepted that without an urgent and significant scaling up of progress, the goal will not be achieved overall.
There are a number of different ways of supplying water that is fit to drink. The method selected will depend on the individual circumstances in each community. In situations where clean piped supplies are not feasible in the short or medium term, Aquafilters are often the best solution for water treatment at the point of use.