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Clean Water and Sanitation

Having access to safe drinking water, sanitation and handwashing is a basic human need.

Not having access to these facilities increases the risk of disease and malnutrition. Poor access is attributed to millions of deaths each year.

The world has made significant progress in increasing their availability. In the past, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death in most countries. They’ve fallen dramatically in high and middle-income countries – partly due to increased access to clean water and sanitation.

But there is still more work to do. It is still a major problem in low-income countries.

On this page, you can find all of our data on water, sanitation and handwashing.

Explore our data on Clean Water and Sanitation

Research & Writing

Interactive Charts on Clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

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Our articles and data visualizations rely on work from many different people and organizations. When citing this topic page, please also cite the underlying data sources. This topic page can be cited as:

Hannah Ritchie, Fiona Spooner and Max Roser (2021) - “Clean Water and Sanitation” Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: 'https://ourworldindata.org/clean-water-sanitation' [Online Resource]

BibTeX citation

@article{owid-clean-water-sanitation,
    author = {Hannah Ritchie and Fiona Spooner and Max Roser},
    title = {Clean Water and Sanitation},
    journal = {Our World in Data},
    year = {2021},
    note = {https://ourworldindata.org/clean-water-sanitation}
}
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