Drinking water has been a scarce commodity over the years and there has been a lot of speculation as to who has access to it and how much it costs.

Record shows that close to three billion people gained access to a better source of drinking water since 1990. But as at 2015, close to a million people still drink from unprotected or even contaminated sources. These few are assumed to be more in sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimation that eighty percent of them live on rural areas which is the poorer part of the population.

The problem with the sub-Saharan region is the unavailability of water and the stress undergone to get this water. On average, it takes thirty minutes or more to get water unlike in other parts of the world where water is supplied to the doorstep of citizens. Another problem with this level of water scarcity is that the search for water is done mostly by women and girls. The reasonable solution to this problem is to reduce the amount of time and stress required to get water in these sub-Saharan regions.

Water is not also available all day or every day for some. It is usually present for a little amount of time each day, week or month. It is recorded that twenty percent of households that are supplied municipal water in South Africa have been interrupted for up to two days at a particular time. This is even higher in some other parts of the country. The definition of availability of water is quite different in various parts of the world, so comparisons cannot be made between two countries based on the availability of one of the two.

Some sources of water are highly protected against contamination, some are not safe for drinking. Water that is safe for drinking must be free from high levels of harmful substances and pathogens. A global contaminant of water is faeces, and it is accompanied by the presence of the E.coli bacteria. This method of contamination is mostly by bad latrines gaining access to underground water, or by using dirty and bacteria contaminated containers to fetch and store water from a water body. These waters must be tested in quality before being regarded as safe for drinking.

Different amount of money is usually spent in order to obtain a palatable and potable water. Most people would rather have their own source of water such as drilling a borehole in other to avoid external contaminations from other users and pathogens found in open water sources. This method of getting safe water is a good option but is limited to those that can afford it.