Providing safe drinking water to 1.1 billion unserved people
Despite substantial advances in the past 100 years in public health, technology and medicine, 20% of the world population, mostly comprised of the poor population segments in developing countries (DCs), still does not have access to safe drinking water. To reach the United Nations (UN) Millennium Goal of halving the number of people without access to safe water by 2015, the global community will need to provide an additional one billion urban residents and 600 million rural residents with safe water within the next twelve years. This paper examines current water treatment measures and implementation methods for delivery of safe drinking water, and offers suggestions for making progress towards the goal of providing a timely and equitable solution for safe water provision. For water treatment, based on the serious limitations of boiling water and chlorination, we suggest an approach based on filtration coupled with ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, combined with public education. Additionally, owing to the capacity limitations for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to take on this task primarily on their own, we suggest a strategy based on financially sustainable models that include the private sector as well as NGOs.