About 2 billion people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water — mostly in low-income countries — and 3.6 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation services, which can result in contaminated drinking water. Consuming untreated or poorly treated water causes 1.2 million deaths and up to 80 percent of the illnesses in low-income countries each year. Even countries with extensive water treatment systems face challenges from aging infrastructure, growing pollution and newly regulated toxic contaminants. Climate change has exacerbated these issues by contributing to droughts and floods. Experts warn that cross-border tensions are rising in places where countries share water sources. Global efforts to provide universal access to safe drinking water are in danger of backsliding, according to international ...

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