In 1990, as part of the Millennium Development Goals, the UN set a target to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water. The world hit this goal in 2010, and as of 2015, some 90 percent of the world’s people now have access to “improved” water—water from sources such as pipes or wells that are protected from contamination, primarily fecal matter.
But Urban Access Is Still Greater. Even though access has grown across rural communities, much remains to be done. Eight out of ten people without access to clean water live in rural areas. In fact, 84 percent of people in rural areas have safe drinking water, compared with 96 percent in urban areas.