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May / June 2003

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OPINION - Confusing Cause and Effect


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Founder : Len Abrams
Water Policy International

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Water Supply and Sanitation Coverage Figures

Content

The limitations of coverage assessment
The Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000

Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Monitoring Report 1996

 

 

 
The difficulties

Determining the coverage figures for water supply and sanitation in the developing world is a difficult if not impossible task.  There are an number of reasons for this.  These are primarily 

  • Political - governments do not wish to be identified as providing inadequate services so figures are often inflated.

  • Technical - to accurately establish service levels requires an ongoing process of information gathering and analysis which requires resources and capacity which are generally not available.

  • Standards - everybody is drinking water of some form (death from thirst is rare) and using some form of sanitation practice.  Coverage figures are only relevant if the same standard of service is counted in all cases - this is unlikely to be the case.

  • Dereliction - most coverage figures are based of construction projects and institutional/agency figures which generally will not account for high dereliction rates as the sustainability of services is generally a major problem.

Generally coverage figures are over estimated.  

These difficulties are referred to in the World Health Organization Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000 noted below.

 

 

The Global Water Supply and Sanitation 
Assessment 2000



World Health Organisation
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
United Nations Children Fund


The WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) provides a snapshot of water supply and sanitation worldwide at the turn of the millennium using information available from different sources. From 2001 the JMP database for both historic data and future projections will be periodically updated. All assistance in identifying unused and new data to improve the estimates presented here is welcome.
WHO Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
1. Water supply - statistics 2. Water resources development
3.  Sanitation - statistics
1. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and  Sanitation  (ISBN 92 4 156202 1) (NLM classificatrion: WA 675)

Report Contents (WHO Site) 


Global coverage figures 
(apologies for the quality)

Table 2.2  Water supply and sanitation coverage for 1990 and 2000 by region

REGION

1990 Population (millions)

2000 Population (millions)

 

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served2

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served

GLOBAL

(76% of global population represented)

(89% of global population represented)

Urban water supply

2 292

2 179

113

95

2 845

2 672

173

94

Rural water supply

2 974

1 961

1 013

66

3 210

2 284

926

71

Total water supply

5 266

4 140

1 126

79

6 055

4 956

1 099

82

                 

Urban sanitation

2 292

1 877

415

82

2 845

2 442

403

86

Rural sanitation

2 974

1 028

1 946

35

3 210

1 210

2 000

38

Total sanitation

5 266

2 905

2 361

55

6 055

3 652

2 403

60

                 

REGION

1990 Population (millions)

2000 Population (millions)

 

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served2

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served

AFRICA

(72% of regional population represented)

(96% of regional population represented)

Urban water supply

197

166

31

84

297

253

44

85

Rural water supply

418

183

235

44

487

231

256

47

Total water supply

615

349

266

57

784

484

300

62

                 

Urban sanitation

197

167

30

85

297

251

46

84

Rural sanitation

418

206

212

49

487

220

267

45

Total sanitation

615

373

242

61

784

471

313

60

                 

REGION

1990 Population (millions)

2000 Population (millions)

 

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served2

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served

ASIA

(88% of regional population represented)

(94% of regional population represented)

Urban water supply

1 029

972

57

94

1 352

1 254

98

93

Rural water supply

2 151

1 433

718

67

2 331

1 736

595

75

Total water supply

3 180

2 405

775

76

3 683

2 990

693

81

                 

Urban sanitation

1 029

690

339

67

1 352

1 055

297

78

Rural sanitation

2 151

496

1 655

23

2 331

712

1 619

31

Total sanitation

3 180

1 186

1 994

37

3 683

1 767

1 916

48

                 

REGION

1990 Population (millions)

2000 Population (millions)

 

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served2

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN(77% of regional population represented)

(99% of regional population represented)

Urban water supply

313

287

26

92

391

362

29

93

Rural water supply

128

72

56

56

128

79

49

62

Total water supply

441

359

82

82

519

441

78

85

                 

Urban sanitation

313

267

46

85

391

340

51

87

Rural sanitation

128

50

78

39

128

62

66

49

Total sanitation

441

317

124

72

519

402

117

78

                 

REGION

1990 Population (millions)

2000 Population (millions)

 

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served2

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served

OCEANIA

(64% of regional population represented)

(85% of regional population represented)

Urban water supply

18

18

0

100

21

21

0

98

Rural water supply

8

5

3

62

9

6

3

63

Total water supply

26

23

3

88

30

27

3

88

                 

Urban sanitation

18

18

0

99

21

21

0

99

Rural sanitation

8

7

1

89

9

7

2

81

Total sanitation

26

25

1

96

30

28

2

93

                 

REGION

1990 Population (millions)

2000 Population (millions)

 

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served2

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served

EUROPE

(15% of regional population represented)

(44% of regional population represented)

Urban water supply

522

522

0

100

545

542

3

100

Rural water supply

200

199

1

100

184

161

23

87

Total water supply

722

721

1

100

729

703

26

96

                 

Urban sanitation

522

522

0

100

545

537

8

99

Rural sanitation

200

199

1

100

184

137

47

74

Total sanitation

722

721

1

100

729

674

55

92

                 

REGION

1990 Population (millions)

2000 Population (millions)

 

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served2

Total population

Population
served

Population unserved

% served

NORTHERN AMERICA

(99.9% of regional population represented)

(99.9% of regional population represented)

Urban water supply

213

213

0

100

239

239

0

100

Rural water supply

69

69

0

100

71

71

0

100

Total water supply

282

282

0

100

310

310

0

100

                 

Urban sanitation

213

213

0

100

239

239

0

100

Rural sanitation

69

69

0

100

71

71

0

100

Total sanitation

282

282

0

100

310

310

0

100


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