Water has a central role in societies. Historically, health, ealth and economic development always greatly have benefited from effective management of water supplies. Antiquity recognised the need for reliable supplies of safe water for human needs. Over the centuries, proper management of the vital resource of water has led always to developments and improvements in health. Effectively managed water supplies and resource-protection systems generated indispensable bases for agricultural and industrial
production. Urban and rural development has thrived where water sources have been managed effectively.
In many growing European cities, this process started as early as the 15th and 16th centuries. Particularly in the 19th century, water was a central preoccupation of state and industrial leaders. As a consequence of safer and better
managed water systems, farming and industrial development expanded, food supplies increased and became more reliable and healthy, a number of major diseases no longer posed se rious threats to health, life expectancy increased substantially, and particularly infant mortality decreased dramatically. Industrial development also depended on safe, reliable and well managed water supplies. Safe water has been demonstrated to be the single most effective investment in economic and social development. No other part of socioeconomic development has continued to be as incredibly cost-effective in relation to the wealth created. Over a wide range of income distributions, rich and poor countries alike have to invest less than 1 percent of the average income to ensure excellent water supplies and resource management .
The reasons for concern over the world’s water resources and their health impact on children can be summarised within three key areas: water scarcity, water quality and waterrelated disasters .