The United Nations Millennium Declaration confirmed the central role of water and sanitation in sustainable development and the major contribution expanded access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation can make to poverty alleviation. Poverty reduction strategies dominate the current development agenda. From this perspective, the health and socio-economic benefits of improved access to safe water and adequate sanitation are the most compelling arguments to support resource allocations towards this goal. The benefits and the costs of increasing access to improved water and sanitation vary considerably depending on the type of technology selected. For informed and rational decision-making it is, therefore, crucial to carry out a sound economic evaluation of the various options available in different settings. Decision makers will prefer to invest in options for which the value of total benefits exceeds total costs.
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