Chapter 6. Water and Sanitation

Snapshot

Category Description

Access to clean water is essential for human development, the environment, and the economy. More than 2 billion people, however, lack access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WHO & UNICEF, 2017, pp. 4–6). Poor water quality and inadequate sanitation affect all aspects of life. Inadequate access to clean water and sanitation sources hinders sustainable development efforts worldwide (WHO & UNICEF, 2017). The chapter Water and Sanitation uses two indicators to measure the health risks associated with unsafe sanitationanddrinking watersources.

Indicators Included

  1. Sanitation. We measure sanitation as the proportion of a country’s population exposed to health risks from their access to sanitation, defined by the primary toilet type used by households.
  2. Drinking water. We measure drinking water as the proportion of a country’s population exposed to health risks from their access to drinking water, defined by the primary water source used by households and the household water treatment, or the treatment that happens at the point of water collection.

Both sanitation and drinking water are measured using the number of age-standardized disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost per 100,000 persons. Minimizing the health risks posed from unsafe sanitationand drinking wateris a vital step in evaluating a country’s ability to maintain clean water systems and minimize contact with dangerous bacteria and viruses.

Water & Sanitation indicators

Sanitation

DALY rate

Drinking water

DALY rate