Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • UK report highlights need for clean water

Shares

Safe drinking water in
South India
A continuing increase in the number of people living in water scarce areas makes the need for access to clean water a top priority for anyone concerned about sustainable development, according to a new UK report.

A briefing paper produced by the UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology points out that at present one in five of the world’s population does not have access to safe drinking water, and four million people die each year of waterborne diseases such as cholera. The vast majority of those affected are in developing countries, and these figures are set to rise over the coming years.

The report quotes projections from the Stockholm Environment Institute, which estimates that in 2025 nearly two thirds of the world’s population will live in countries with significant water stress, including large areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“Sound management of water resources and access to water and sanitation services are now regarded as key components of sustainable development, particularly as a precondition for the steady improvement in living standards in developing countries,” the report says.

Inefficient use of water in agriculture, population growth (particularly in urban areas), water pollution and international conflict are some of the pressures on clean and adequate water supplies in the developing world, it says.

Link to briefing paper, Access to water in developing countries

© SciDev.Net 2002

Photo credit: Nicky Lewis/SciDev.Net
Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.