The number of people who do not have access to clean drinking water was cut in half five years ahead of the 2015 deadline, according to a UN announcement this week.
According to joint monitoring by the World Health Organisation and Unicef, more than 2 billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources between 1990 and 2010. These improved drinking water sources include protected wells and piped supplies. By the end of 2010, 6.1 billion people had improved sources of drinking water, 1 percent more than the target goal set in 2000.
However, the report also noted that as many as 783 million people, roughly 11 percent of the world’s population, are still without access to safe drinking water. In addition, about 2.5 billion people still lack basic waste sanitation.
While the water situation sounds a lot better, and it is, it is noted that water sources have been IMPROVED, not necessarily high quality or reliable to the point that they are sustainable and healthy. The report maintains that since testing national levels of water quality is so expensive and difficult, it may overestimate the actual number of people who are drinking reliable and healthy water on a daily basis.
Nearly half of the 2 billion people who have acquired improved drinking water live in India or China. Many countries in Africa are nowhere near meeting the target of 2015, with some countries regressing to pre-1990 standards. More than 40% of all people around the world who lack access to drinking water live in sub-Saharan Africa.
It sounds like the calculations might be a bit too unreliable to be able to comprehend the full picture, but regardless, they seem to indicate that we could well be on our way to a healthier world population.