Water and sanitation

In the WHO European Region, 19 million people do not have access to a source of drinking-water that is adequately protected, and about 100 million people still lack access to piped water in their homes. While access has generally increased in the last decade, there are notable disparities between rural and urban areas, especially in the Caucasus and central Asia, where only half of the rural population enjoys the use of piped water on premises. More than 66 million people in the Region still lack access to adequate sanitation facilities.

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Health on agenda at COP19 climate change conference

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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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.

Ensuring drinking-water safety through water safety plans