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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World Water Day: good health and managing wastewater go hand-in-hand

14 people die every day from diarrhoeal diseases in the WHO European Region, and these deaths are attributed to inaAccess to safely managed water and sanitation services is crucial to achieving and maintaining good health and well-being, the aim of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.



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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Video - The Protocol on Water and Health

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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