However, just having access to these basic life needs is not enough. Unsafe water sources can exacerbate malnutrition and are one of the leading risk factors for infectious diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and polio. Millions of people are still forced to live with basic or limited drinking water resources, especially in rural regions where just over half of the population has access to safely managed water. Similarly, proper sanitation services are still limited worldwide with a noticeable discrepancy between urban and rural populations.
Nevertheless, access to water, sanitation, and hygiene are improving on a global scale and is likely to continue under the scrutiny of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which aims to increase clean water access and improve sanitation services. Technologies such as desalination and point-of-use water disinfection, among many others will aid in areas experiencing water or other environmental stresses.