Clean drinking water update: 771 million people

At the end of last year, the WHO and UNICEF released a report on access to water and sanitation in 2020.
Fortunately, we are moving in the right direction: from 785 million to 771 million people without access to safe drinking water.

771 million people

At the end of last year, the WHO and UNICEF released a report “Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2020, Five years into the SDG’s

The most important conclusion is that we are moving in the right direction:from 785 million to 771 million people without access to safe drinking water. But there is still a lot of work to be done because the impact for still 1 in 10 people is enormous.

According to the World Economic Forum, the water crisis is even in the top 5 of global threats to society as a whole.


Of this large group of 771 million people, 122 million people are still completely dependent on surface water with all the associated health risks.

The rest of these people depend on water supplies far away or with limited availability (282 million) or dependent on wells that are poorly maintained and polluted (367 million people).

By the way, 771 million is one and a half times as many as all the inhabitants of Europe put together.

Why is lack of access to clean water problematic?

To achieve access for everyone by 2030, we must quadruple our efforts.

World Health Organisation


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals state, among other things, that we want to give everyone access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2030. (SDG 6)

Although a positive development is visible, we are not going to make it with the current effort. In fact, we need to do four times as much as in the last 5 years to get to where we really want to do well.

Unfortunately, the countries where these people live are often unable to pay for or organize the water supplies themselves.

A drop?

Is our contribution then a drop in the ocean? Certainly not: in the past five years we have already managed to realize at least 10 billion liters of clean drinking water. With this we give at least 140,000 people permanent access to good facilities. That is just as much as the whole of Den Bosch and about 1% of the progress of this area worldwide.

A small contribution can already make a difference: for just over 20 euros we can give someone permanent access to safe drinking water. And for only 2.50 you can give someone enough clean drinking water for a year to drink, cook and wash!

Contribute too?

Would you like to help with our mission: clean drinking water for everyone?
There are more ways to do this than you think.

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