Clean water is safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. The clean water problem is that of quantity (access), quality, cost, and system maintenance.
Poor water and sanitation lead to suboptimal health conditions (e.g. infections, physical disorders, diarrhea, malnutrition) and even death. Such conditions places excessive burden on those affected as well as those around them. Additionally, water collection practices, which disproportionately affect women and girls, waste time and resources that could be spent on improving livelihoods. The estimated annual global economic loss due to water and sanitation-related issues is $260 billion.i
Universal, equitable access to clean water across urban and rural areas worldwide, supplied by utilities and service providers with adequate capacity to deliver reliable and sustainable service. Clean drinking water allows the poor to lead healthier lives and devote previously lost time to productive activities that improve their livelihoods.