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Am J Public Health. 2001 Oct;91(10):1565-70.

Not just a drop in the bucket: expanding access to point-of-use water treatment systems.

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Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Since 1990, the number of people without access to safe water sources has remained constant at approximately 1.1 billion, of whom approximately 2.2 million die of waterborne disease each year. In developing countries, population growth and migrations strain existing water and sanitary infrastructure and complicate planning and construction of new infrastructure. Providing safe water for all is a long-term goal; however, relying only on time- and resource-intensive centralized solutions such as piped, treated water will leave hundreds of millions of people without safe water far into the future. Self-sustaining, decentralized approaches to making drinking water safe, including point-of-use chemical and solar disinfection, safe water storage, and behavioral change, have been widely field-tested. These options target the most affected, enhance health, contribute to development and productivity, and merit far greater priority for rapid implementation.

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