The United Nations (UN) announced
today that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of “reducing by half the number of people without access to safe drinking water” has been achieved, well ahead of the 2015 deadline for reaching the agreed targets aimed at reducing poverty, hunger and preventable diseases. Between 1990 and 2010, two billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells, according to a joint report issued by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
While Calgary’s CAWST
, Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, recognizes the significance of this achievement and that reaching this goal does save many lives, especially children's, these results do not draw attention to regional disparities nor do they address the measurement of water quality - access to an improved water source does not equate to safe drinking water in the home
. UNICEF and WHO cautioned that significant work must be done to ensure that improved sources of water are, and remain, safe to drink.