Apparently, three people in 10 worldwide, or approximately 2.1 billion people, do not have access to safe, readily available water. That was one of the findings of a new report released in July 2017 by the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) of Water Supply and Sanitation, operated by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
While there have been improvements in water safety and accessibility in larger urban areas around the world, in far too many rural areas, pressing water-related issues remain the same and in many cases are getting worse.
“Safe water, sanitation, and hygiene at home should not be a privilege of only those who are rich or live in urban centers,” says Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “These are some of the most basic requirements for human health, and all countries have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access them.”
Among the key findings of the study are the following:
• While billions more people have access to water today than in 2000, these services do not necessarily provide safe water for use in homes, schools, or healthcare centers
• Each year, more than 361,000 children under the age of five die due to drinking contaminated water; in most cases, the deaths are linked to cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, and typhoid
• Of the 2.1 billion people that do not have access to safe, readily available water, approximately 844 million do not have a basic water service in their communities; this means that they must travel 30 minutes or longer to collect treated water or gather untreated water from nearby waterways, which may be polluted
• A staggering 2.4 billion people do not have basic sanitation services in their communities, which means no access to toilets, urinals, or other restroom/bathroom fixtures
• In parts of Africa, only 15 percent of the population has access to water and soap for cleaning handwashing
The JMP has set a goal of having clean, accessible water for people all over the world by 2030. They want to bridge the gap between rich areas and poor areas around the globe as well as urban and rural areas.
As comprehensive as the study is, its focus was primarily on the lack of safe, potable water around the world. It did not emphasize the need for water efficiency, which refers to reducing water consumption for the long-term or turning to, for instance, restroom technologies designed to operate with no water at all.
“These two issues go hand-in-hand,” says Klaus Reichardt,” CEO and Founder of Waterless Co. Inc. “We have to make sure that people around the world have the water they need when they need it, but we must also stress that they use it wisely.”
For more information on ways to reduce water consumption and waterless urinal technologies, please contact a Waterless Co representative at 800-244-6364.