Sanitation

Drinking of clean water is a collective effort

The first collaborative international effort to create significant

impacts on the global water and sanitation situation came from

the First International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation

Decade (1981–1990) which ultimately met with limited success.

However, new innovations exist that may lead to greater success

in the second decade International Decade for Action: Water for

Life (2005–2015), such as increases in public-private

partnerships, investments by large corporations, and more

community-based organizations and nongovernmental

organizations that work on improving access to water and

sanitation. A greater focus on microfinancing and local

initiatives, along with new discussion of ecological sanitation

and culturally appropriate initiatives, is led by empowered

community members. Other trends include the consideration of

global water scarcity in sustainable planning and a move from

simple water quality monitoring to the development of a more

holistic water safety plan approach by the World Health

Organization (WHO) as well as greater use of various

household water treatment approaches.

With regard to standards for improved water and sanitation, it is

important to recognize that improved water is not necessarily

safe drinking water. Improved water access includes household

connections, public standpipes, rainwater collection, boreholes,

and protected wells, but not water vendors, unprotected wells,

unprotected springs, rivers or ponds, or tanker truck water.

Improved sanitation includes connections to public sewers,

septic systems, pour-flush and improved pit latrines, but not

shared, traditional, or open pit latrines. Results have been mixed

—between 1990 and 2002, the number of people with improved

water gradually increased

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Idea No. 471