Recent widespread news coverage heralded the success of a United Nations' goal of greatly improving access to safe drinking water around the world.
But while major progress has been made, a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill indicates that far greater challenges persist than headline statistics suggested.
Earlier this month (March 6), UNICEF and the World Health Organization issued a report stating that the world had met the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, well in advance of a deadline.
That goal aimed to boost access to improved drinking water sources, such as piped supplies and protected wells, between 1990 and 2015.
However, the new UNC study estimates that 1.8 billion people – 28 percent of the world's population – used unsafe water in 2010.