News Feature | July 22, 2014

More Than 70% Content With Tap Water Worldwide

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

A recent Gallup poll found that "Americans in general are less happy with the quality of their water than those in many other countries," the Central Valley Business Times reported.  

The U.S. ranked 22nd in the list of countries that are most satisfied with the quality of their tap water. 

Europeans were the most satisfied with their water compared to people on other continents, according to the same poll. About 84 percent of European respondents said they were satisfied in 2013. In the Americas, 76 percent of people were satisfied. In Asia 74 percent were satisfied. 

The vast majority of people on the planet were satisfied with the quality of their tap water. The poll found that "more than seven in 10 worldwide are content with the quality of their water -- in line with what Gallup has measured since 2008," GALLUP World reported in a blog post.  

A major region where respondents were not satisfied is sub-Saharan Africa. Only 50 percent of respondents in that region were satisfied. That is "essentially the same as in 2008 (48 percent)," the blog post said. That region is working to meet a United Nations goal "of halving the number of people without access to improved drinking water sources," the post said. 

The bottom line, per the post: "Although perceptions of water quality in sub-Saharan Africa have not improved -- and many countries in the region are not on track to meet the MDG for drinking water -- there has been significant progress. Twenty-four percent of the current population has gained access to improved drinking water since 2000, but such progress is likely occurring too slowly to positively affect sub-Saharan Africans' opinions about their water quality year over year." 

Perceptions of water quality are linked to well-being. 

"Sub-Saharan Africans' satisfaction with the water quality in their communities is related to how they view their lives overall. Those who are dissatisfied with their water quality are nearly twice as likely to rate their lives poorly enough to be considered 'suffering' than residents who are satisfied with their water quality," GALLUP World reported.

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