Clean water is essential to healthy development


Clean water is the foundation for a healthy life. An adequate supply of clean water can help prevent diseases, improve nutrition, and boost economic growth. Access to safe and clean drinking water is a fundamental need for all people and communities around the world.

A safe and clean water supply is an essential foundation for a healthy life.

Water is a basic human need and a fundamental prerequisite for healthy development. However, access to clean water is not enjoyed by all people around the world.

Clean water is essential for economic growth and poverty reduction, as well as for the health of communities. It also plays an important role in supporting education, food security and gender equality by helping children go to school or help women go out to work (or just be able to care for their children).

glass being filled with clean water

Clean water boosts economic growth

Clean water is a basic human right. The United Nations General Assembly has declared access to clean water and sanitation as an essential part of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which aim to reduce poverty by 2015. Clean drinking water is necessary for the development of healthy communities, because it supports growth in agriculture, tourism and other industries that create opportunities for people around the world.

Clean drinking water can also be vital for economic growth. A study conducted by Harvard University shows that every dollar spent on improving access to safe drinking water could yield up to $3 in economic benefits within five years.

running water tap, a sign of a healthy economy

Clean water has a meaningful impact on communities around the world.

Clean water is essential to healthy development. It helps us stay healthy, which helps us work and learn. Clean water is also essential to economic growth and a tool for social justice.

Clean water can help reduce the incidence of disease, increase productivity in agriculture, create new jobs in the tourism industry, and provide opportunities for women who may otherwise be unable to travel outside their homes for work or education.

Water is a basic human right that has been recognized by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights since 1948 and by numerous other declarations throughout history (including one from ancient Greece). In 1992, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 788, officially recognizing access to safe drinking water as an important aspect of international peacekeeping operations.*

man drinking clean water out of a makeshift tap

Access to safe and clean drinking water is a fundamental need for all people.

Water is essential for life. It is the main component of our bodies and the environment we live in. Clean water is important for hygiene, health and sanitation, which are key factors that lead to a healthy living environment. Clean water is also an economic resource that allows communities to thrive through commercial activities like fishing or tourism. Without it, they would not be able to produce food or generate income. Clean water also protects biodiversity by providing habitats for plants and animals within wetlands, rivers and lakes where they can grow freely due to good levels of dissolved oxygen present in their habitat (see Figure 1).

filling a cup of water from a running water source


Given the many benefits of clean water, it is critical that we continue working together to make sure that everyone has access. There are still millions of people around the world who lack access to safe drinking water every day. We need to work together on solutions that help these communities and ensure they can have a better quality of life.

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