Chapter

Water Quality Issues in Developing Countries <sup>1</sup>

López Ramón and Michael A. Toman

in Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780199298006
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603877 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199298009.003.0011

Series: Initiative for Policy Dialogue Series

 Water Quality Issues in Developing Countries  1

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Of all the environmental concerns that developing countries face, the lack of adequate and good quality water is probably the most serious. This chapter examines two issues arising from poor water quality: (i) the impact it has on households through their use of such water for drinking and other domestic purposes, and through the facilities they employ for the disposal of household waste; and (ii) the consequence of poor water quality in inland rivers and lakes on other water uses (recreation, abstraction for domestic use, etc.). The overall implication of the analysis is that water supply targets under the Millennium Development Goals need careful cost benefit appraisal before they are implemented. Such targets also need a careful analysis of financial sustainability and in this regard, affordability is a critical element. The same remarks apply to sanitation programs, but the cost and benefit comparison is less clearly in favor of the program as a whole.

Keywords: water access; effluent; waste disposal; water treatment; water supply target

Chapter.  14936 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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