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88% Indians had no access to clean drinking water in 2015

India ranked better only than Afghanistan, where 63% had access to basic drinking water services

Vipul Vivek | IndiaSpend 

Drinking water in India

With 88% of its population able to access “basic services” in 2015, India ranked 165 among 233 countries/regions globally, according to the 2017 report of the Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene produced by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The global average was 89%.

Among its South Asian neighbours (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), India ranked better only than Afghanistan, where 63% of the population had access to basic services.

The report, published on July 12, 2017, evaluated 233 countries/regions globally based on the percentage of population that sourced its from ‘basic services’, ‘limited services’, ‘unimproved services’ of water or from ‘surface water’.





Source: Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene


Basic services: from an improved source, provided collection time is not more than 30 minutes for a round trip, including queuing;

Limited services: from an improved source for which collection time exceeds 30 minutes for a round trip, including queuing;

Unimproved services: from an unprotected dug well or unprotected spring;

Surface water: directly from a river, dam, lake, pond, stream, or

In 2015, 4% of India’s population sourced its from ‘limited services’, 7% from ‘unimproved services’ and 1% from surface water; the global average was 4%, 6% and 2%, respectively.

(Vivek is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

Reprinted with permission from, a data-driven, public-interest journalism non-profit organisation. You can read the original article here

First Published: Wed, July 26 2017. 15:56 IST