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Water insecurity compounds the global coronavirus crisis

Staddon, C.; Everard, M.; Mytton, J.; Octavianti, T.; Powell, W.; Quinn, N.; Uddin, S.M.N.; Young, S.L.; Miller, J.D.; Budds, J.; Geere, J.; Meehan, K.; Charles, K.; Stevenson, E.G.J.; Vonk, J.; Mizniak, J.

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C. Staddon

M. Everard

J. Mytton

T. Octavianti

W. Powell

N. Quinn

S.M.N. Uddin

S.L. Young

J.D. Miller

J. Budds

J. Geere

K. Meehan

K. Charles

J. Vonk

J. Mizniak


In recent weeks, people all over the world have been settling into a ‘new normal’ of restricted mobility, online working, social distancing and enhanced hand hygiene. As part of the global fight against the spread of COVID-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2), we are repeatedly reminded by public health authorities that frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and water is one of the best ways of limiting transmission. The rationale behind this is clear: washing regularly and thoroughly physically degrades and removes viral particles from hands, and therefore lowers the likelihood of infection transmission. Many health agencies are recommending washing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds up to 8–10 times per day. If washed in running water, the average hand basin tap uses 2–3 litres per minute, which implies a total water requirement of 8–10 litres of clean water per person per day, as well as appropriate soap and drying facilities (i.e. not a reused and possibly contaminated towel or rag).


Staddon, C., Everard, M., Mytton, J., Octavianti, T., Powell, W., Quinn, N., …Mizniak, J. (2020). Water insecurity compounds the global coronavirus crisis. Water International, 45(5), 416 -422.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 9, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2020
Publicly Available Date Dec 9, 2021
Journal Water International
Print ISSN 0250-8060
Electronic ISSN 1941-1707
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 5
Pages 416 -422


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