If you didn't know, it's probably because you're at the top of the water access pyramid.
Our era is characterized by unprecedented advances concerning access to clean water supplies - 2.6 billion people have benefited since 1990 - but too many people have been left out. There is, in fact, a pyramid of access to water that reflects the inequalities in this area and what they are:
- Safely managed water: water that is treated to make it safe to drink, tested, piped into homes and available when needed.
- Basic water service: piped water, protected wells and boreholes, protected springs, etc. all within a 30-minute round-trip journey.
- Limited service: basic water service at a distance that takes more than 30-minutes
- Unimproved service: drinking water from unprotected dug wells or unprotected springs.
- Surface water: water from unprotected dug wells or unprotected springs that will cause illness.