Describing the problems of continuing gaps in access to safe drinking water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is a well-worn track. With over 2-1/2 billion people without access to means of safe sanitation, and more than 800 million people without access to an improved drinking water source, it is easy to believe that these problems will be with us for generations to come, even in the unlikely event that U.N. Millennium Development Goal 2015 targets for water supply and sanitation are met everywhere. The current cholera outbreak in Haiti reminds us that poor conditions for WASH can lead to a resurgence of infectious diseases previously thought to have been brought under control. But this issue of Global Waters points to a way forward, or more accurately, multiple ways forward, to move us closer to the long-term goal of universal coverage with quality services. It is clear that the WASH sector is evolving and innovative approaches give hope that dramatically accelerated gains will be possible over the next decade.
Last updated: October 01, 2013