Over the past several decades, ever-growing demands for – and misuse of – water resources have increased the risks of pollution and severe water stress in many parts of the world. The frequency and intensity of local water crises have been increasing, with serious implications for public health, environmental sustainability, food and energy security, and economic development. Demographics continue changing rapidly and unsustainable economic practices are affecting the quantity and quality of the water at our disposal, making water an increasingly scarce and expensive resource — especially for the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable.
Although WASH has been on the International Development Cooperation's agenda for decades, the sector is still in an alerting position. Our future, locally and globally will strongly depend on lessons learned from WASH history, its interventions and progress in development, its failures and its battle for priorities, in wash service concepts and WASH awareness and behaviour change.