Water & Sanitation
Huge progress has been made in the past 25 years to provide people with safer water, and as of 2010, over 6 billion of the world’s population has access to improved drinking water sources, up from 4 billion in 1990. Likewise, sanitation coverage has also increased in the developing world, from 36% of the population in 1990 to 56% in 2010. Although this is commendable, over 1.1 billion individuals still lack access to a water from a clean, safe source, and over 2.6 billion people do not have access to toilets and other adequate sanitation facilities. This lack of access is a primary cause of water contamination and water-borne diseases.
From an urban perspective, and especially in the developing world, challenges related to water and sanitation will magnify in the future due to an ever growing city population needing to share already insufficient and poorly managed resources. Urban water distribution and sanitation systems are all too often derelict and unable to cope with the growing demographics, and many of the urban poor tend to be excluded from these services anyway. Paradoxically, low-income urban dwellers have to pay high prices for water, sometimes up to 50 times the price paid by higher income groups.
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