Water as Threat and Solution: Improving Health Outcomes in Developing Country Contexts

  • Ashlea Webber
  • Jodi Baker
  • Lisa Gaudry
  • Larry A. Swatuk
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Water is a determinant of health and health forms the very basis of human well-being. Water, like health, forms the very basis of human survival and thus the right to life. In many instances water is both a solution and a threat to human life. In the case of maternal and child health, water poses great risks for pregnancy and childbirth as well as to young children. Increased mortality and morbidity of developing country populations have tremendous implications for development outcomes as not only single individuals, but whole swaths of the population fall into the cycle of poverty. A significant threat to health is poor water and sanitation, specifically low or no access to clean water as well as poor sanitation practices and conditions (Rautanen et al. 2010). According to UN estimates, ‘at least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is fecally contaminated’, so resulting in a nexus of cyclic poverty and disease (see accessed 9 May 2017).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashlea Webber
    • 1
  • Jodi Baker
    • 1
  • Lisa Gaudry
    • 1
  • Larry A. Swatuk
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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