Water for the masses
Van Kirk, J., & Hart, S. (2004). Water for the masses: An assessment of point-of-use water treatment solutions. Chapel Hill, NC: Center for Sustainable Enterprise.
While the member states of the United Nations have set a goal to halve the proportion of people in the
world without access to safe drinking water by 2015, more than one billion people worldwide still live in
places where water is not safe to drink. Another 2.4 billion people have no access to proper sanitation.
As a result, millions of people suffer and die every year from water-borne infectious diseases and
exposure to chemical contaminants.1 Over 50% of hospitalizations in developing countries result from
waterborne disease.2 Approximately 4 billion cases of diarrheal illness associated with inadequate water
supply and sanitation cause nearly 3 million deaths annually. Most of these deaths are among children
under the age of five.3 As ever, the world’s poorest people are the worst affected, with over 50 percent of
populations in developing countries exposed to polluted water sources. Achieving widespread access to
safe drinking water and improved sanitation are not only fundamental elements of economic development
and poverty alleviation; they are a basic human right according to the UN.