New evidence highlights growing urban water crisis

phys.org | 3/19/2018 | Staff
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New research has found that in 15 major cities in the global south, almost half of all households lack access to piped utility water, affecting more than 50 million people. Access is lowest in the cities of sub-Saharan Africa, where only 22% of households receive piped water.

The research also found that of those households that did have access, the majority received intermittent service. In the city of Karachi in Pakistan, the city's population of 15 million people received an average piped water supply of only three days a week, for less than three hours.

Findings - Data - World - Resources - Institute

These new findings add to data from the World Resources Institute's (WRI) Aqueduct tool, which recently found that by 2030, 45 cities with populations over 3 million could experience high water stress. The research, detailed in the Unaffordable and Undrinkable: Rethinking Urban Water Access in the Global South report shows that even in some places where water sources are available, water is not reaching many residents. Some cities, like Dar es Salaam, have relatively abundant supplies, yet daily access to clean, reliable and affordable water continues to be problematic for many residents.

"Decades of increasing the private sector's role in water provision has not adequately improved access, especially for the urban under-served," said Diana Mitlin, lead author, professor of global urbanism at The Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester. "Water is a human right and a social good, and cities need to prioritize it as such."

Analysis - Report - Alternatives - Water - Providers

Analysis in the report showed that alternatives to piped water, like buying from private providers that truck water in from elsewhere, can cost up to 25% of monthly household income and is 52 times more expensive than public tap water.

Global indicators used for the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals have largely underestimated this urban water crisis because they do...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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