This World Water Week (23 August – 1 September), the World Chlorine Council joins the global community in highlighting the great value of safe drinking water to every human being on Earth. The theme of this year’s milestone “Seeing the unseen: The value of water,” may serve as an eye-opener to those who have given little thought to that life-giving liquid that flows freely and inexpensively from their household taps. In contrast, many residents of developing countries find it necessary to devote several hours per week to procuring water for their families from central collection areas. Access to water that is free of waterborne pathogens, thanks to treatment with chlorine-based disinfectants, for example, is life-changing. It contributes to the good health of families and helps remove obstacles to their education and gainful employment.
Sustainable Development Goal #6 of the United Nation’s (UN’s) 2030 Agenda includes the target of providing universal access to safely managed drinking water. According to the 2022 Sustainable Development Goals Report, the proportion of the global population using safely managed drinking water in 2020 was 74%. By 2030, the aspirational deadline for the 17 Goals, the UN estimates this figure will rise to 81%. That’s not 100%, and more work needs to be done. The World Chlorine Council recognizes international aid organizations, such as Water Mission, Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti, and Water Engineers for the Americas and Africa, that continue to deliver the gift of clean water to communities in need. The volunteers who work selflessly on behalf of these organizations are doing the important work of opening eyes to the life-transforming value of safe, disinfected drinking water.
 “Safely managed” drinking water services are defined as “drinking water from an improved water source which is located on premises, available when needed and free of faecal and priority contamination,” according to the World Health Organization.