Water Development in Developing Countries: Problems and Prospects

Important as water is to man’s manifold acitivities, a significant percentage of mankind still do not have access to clean water for drinking and personal hygiene. According to a WHO survey of facilities available in developing countries to the end of 1975, 75% of urban population and 20% of rural population have access to potable water. Studies carried out by the UN system estimate that investment necessary to provide clean water and sanitation by 1990 to both rural and urban areas is on the order of ~ 132,940 million in constant 1977 dollars. Furthermore, provision of clean water alone is unlikely to eliminate all water-borne diseases, since it is only one of several complex factors affecting human health. The situation in developing countries on water requirements for agriculture, industry and Teneration of hydroelectric power also requires attention because of large amounts of water involved. Effectiveness and efficiency of the supply and distribution systems must be given top priority. There is a considerable potential for improving the efficiency of water use in virtually every developing country and in every sector.

By Asit K. Biswas, 1979. Article published in GeoJournal, Volume 3, pages 445–456. DOI: 10.1007/BF00455983

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