Water Sanitation Health

Water-related diseases

Water, sanitation and hygiene have important impacts on both health and disease.

Water-related diseases include:

  • those due to micro-organisms and chemicals in water people drink;
  • diseases like schistosomiasis which have part of their lifecycle in water;
  • diseases like malaria with water-related vectors;
  • drowning and some injuries;
  • and others such as legionellosis carried by aerosols containing certain micro-organisms.

Inadequate drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene are estimated to cause 842 000 diarrhoeal disease deaths per year WHO 2014, and contribute substantially to the other diseases listed above.

More information on water-related diseases

NEW: Call for technical editors/writers

WHO is seeking expressions of interests from individual technical editors/writers for WHO’s work related to the Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality (GDWQ), the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR).