Urban Fold

The Global Challenge of Unsafe Water

Unclean and unsafe water is an increasingly vexing problem for the world's cities, which are struggling to meet the needs of rapidly growing populations. But there has been some positive work in developing countries.

"Already at 6-billion-plus souls, the world is adding close to 1 million new inhabitants a week - and will to 2050. The lion's share of growth is coming in Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Latin America where safe drinking water is a luxury of the few and basic sanitation to treat human wastes is often simply lacking.

One wonders: when, if ever, will the entire world be able to access the safe drinking water supplies and sewage systems that developed societies began to adopt, raising average lifespans by decades, in the late 1800s?"

Columnist Neal Peirce writes of efforts in Phnom Penh to bring new water pipes to disadvantaged areas, which is helping to improve the health of residents. But many other cities in the developing world are still plagued by unsafe water and aging or nonexistent infrastructure.

Full Story: World Water Crises Cry Out For Ingenious Solutions

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