Water and sanitation

Of the 912 million people living in the WHO European Region, in 2015 more than 62 million lack access to an adequate sanitation facility and 14 million do not use a basic drinking-water source. While access has increased in the last decades, there are notable disparities between rural and urban areas, especially in the Caucasus and central Asia, where less than 40% of rural dwellers use piped water on premises.

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Ensuring safe drinking-water – highlighting water safety plans in Tajikistan on World Water Day

While some people in the WHO European Region take clean drinking-water for granted, many communities throughout the Region – and the world – still suffer from water-related issues.



Protocol on Water and Health

The Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes is the first major international legal approach for the prevention, control and reduction of water-related diseases in Europe.

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Water Safety Plans

Small-scale systems are an important component of water supply in the WHO European Region, and Water Safety Plans (WSPs) are regarded the most effective approach to ensuring continuous provision of safe drinking-water.

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In countries

The WHO "Guidelines for drinking-water quality" recommend the water safety plan approach as the most effective way of ensuring the provision of safe drinking-water. WHO/Europe supports the implementation of the Guidelines by building in-country capacities and facilitating water safety plan demonstration projects.

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