Shocking New Report on Clean Water from WaterAid

WaterAid claims the goal of providing clean water to the Earth by 2030 isn't reachable.
WaterAid claims the goal of providing clean water to the Earth by 2030 isn’t reachable.

LONDON – WaterAid, the international NGO that is driving the United Nations sustainable goal to provide clean water for the entire global population by 2030, has just released a shocking new report. Based on current status and progress, the report claims that the goal is unreachable within the allotted time.

Using data provided by the United Nations, WaterAid can now predict that “a significant number of people in more than 80 countries will still be drinking hazardous water in 2030 and, in 107 countries, will still not have a decent toilet to use.”

Currently, more than 30% of all the people in the world do not have access to “clean water close to home.” That’s not at home, but close to home. This report is still trying to get clarification on what “close to home” means.

The situation is so dire that WaterAid calculates that it will literally take hundreds of years for some countries to meet the UN’s goals for clean water and sanitation.

  • It could take 500 years for every Romanian to have access to a toilet.
  • It would take 450 years for every person in Ghana to have access to a toilet.
  • Namibians are not expected to have clean water close to home until 2246.
  • Clean water for all Nicaraguans will not happen until 2180.
  • Residents of Eritrea are not expected to have clean water universally available until 2507.

Even in countries like India where progress is being made, WaterAid warns that sustainable progress may be much more difficult.

Three countries are not expected to reach the goal of sanitation for all until well into the next millennium.

Adding insult to injury, some nations are showing retrogression instead of progress.

WaterAid rightly recognizes that the failure to provide adequate access to clean water and effective sanitation facilities will seriously hinder the ability to reach other UN sustainability goals for 2030 as well. This is particularly true of the goals of reducing poverty and inequality.

The NGO’s media briefing indicates that 1.2 billion people currently living where clean water is scarce may find things getting worse before they get better.

From a practical, infrastructure standpoint, “achieving this goal by 2030 will take unprecedented political will and investment globally.”

WaterAid estimated that it would cost $28.4 billion USD per year starting in 2015 for the world to reach the clean water goals by 2030. Although the expense is equivalent to one-tenth of a percent of the Gross Domestic Product of the 140 countries where there is no universal access to clean water, the organization squarely lays the blame on developed nations for creating an environmental crisis in which the supply does not meet the demands of the rest of the world. It then posits moral responsibility on those developed nations to finance and assist the building of the necessary infrastructures in those 107 countries that are not expected to be able to meet the 2030 goals

For more on this topic, see our Essay on the Global Clean Water Crisis.


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