Globally, 844 million people still lack basic water service—a drinking water source that is accessible within a 30-minute round trip from their home. Even more people, 2.3 billion, still do not have access to basic sanitation—a toilet or latrine that is not shared with other households. All human beings share the need for drinking water and sanitation, and the people with least access to them pay a steep price in health, wealth, and dignity.

But there is another side to this story: Many...


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