Universal access to water: a way to go together
18 June, 2021
Access to water is essential for socio-economic development, energy, food production, ecosystems, and the survival of human beings. Therefore, universal water access is a matter of rights.
Most of us do not value the ease with which we access drinking water every day. However, for more than 700 million people around the world, having access to safe water becomes a practically impossible task. Water is a vital need, but in addition, it plays a fundamental role in the development of societies. As well as in the eradication of poverty and inequality. In the 80% of households that cannot access to water, the responsibility for collecting and bringing it home falls on women and girls.
The shortage of drinking water causes major migration crises and serious health problems. Besides, it has a higher negative impact on the most disadvantaged groups in developing countries, such as: elderly, sick people, women and girls. In the last two cases, collecting water involves traveling long distances carrying very heavy weights across unsafe roads. And it poses a significant risk of suffering some type of violence. Also, this activity separates them from tasks like going to school or having a job. Women and girls spend up to 40 billion hours a year collecting water.
In July 2020, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the access to water and sanitation as a fundamental human right. This means between 50 and 100 liters of water per person per day: safe, acceptable, affordable and physically accessible. The source must be less than 1,000 meters from the home and its collection should not exceed 30 minutes. Also, water is included in the UN Development Strategy: Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 is focused into ‘guarantee the availability of water and its sustainable management and sanitation for all’. The goal of this objective includes both aspects of the water cycle and sanitation systems.
With all these data, the solution to the water shortage stands out as a primary objective for the entire society, involving both the public and private sectors. One of the values that we pursue at GENAQ daily is precisely that: to contribute to making access to drinking water a reality throughout the world.