Improved Water Source

An improved drinking-water source is defined as one that, by nature of its construction or through active intervention, is likely to be protected from outside contamination, in particular from contamination with fecal matter.

To allow for international comparability of estimates for monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the World Health Organization/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation defines "improved" drinking water sources as follows:

  • Piped water into dwelling
  • Piped water into yard/plot
  • Public tap /standpipes
  • Tubewell /boreholes
  • Protected dug wells
  • Protected springs
  • rainwater collection
  • Bottled water, if the secondary source used by the household for cooking and personal hygiene is improved

Water sources that are not considered as "improved" are:

  • Unprotected dug wells
  • Unprotected springs
  • Vendor provided water
  • Cart with small tank/drum
  • Bottled water, if the secondary source used by the household for cooking and personal hygiene is unimproved
  • Tanker-truck
  • Surface water

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