Urban Population with Access to Improved Water Supply
The definition changes as to whether it considers urban areas or rural ones. In urban areas the source may be a public fountain or standpost located no more the 200 meters away. In rural areas the definition implies that members of the household do not have to spend a disproportionate part of the day fetching water.
The indicator is based on data provided to the World Health Organization (WHO) by member states. Because reliable, observation-based statistical data for these indicators do not exist in some developing countries, the data ate estimated. In particular, the existence of a water outlet within reasonable distance is often used as a proxy for availability of safe water. Furthermore, the definition of safe water has changed over time and there still are intercountry differences in standards e.g. what is considered the distance for "reasonable access". Finally, another limitation is that households may be recorded as having access even though, for example, their handpump is broken or the individual is unable to physically reach the pump.
This indicator is of fundamental significance to lowering infant and child mortality. It is association with other socio-economic characteristics, inculding education and poverty making it a good universal indicator of human development. An adequate amount of water is that needed to satisfy metabolic, hygienic and domestic requirements (usually about 20 litres of safe water a person a day).
GEO Data Category:
Health, urban population, access to safe water
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Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
20 Avenue Appia
+41 22 791 3544
+41 22 791 4847
11, Chemin des Anemones
+41 22 917 82 94
+41 22 917 80 29
GIS Data Info
Statistics Data Info
Calculated pre 1991-1992 relative country share
Former Yugoslavia SFR:
The percentage of the population with has reasonable access to adequate amounts of safe water (including treated surface water and untreated, but uncontamined water, such as from springs, sanitary wells, and protected boreholes).