Much healthcare delivery in developing countries takes place in settings where there are inadequate or non-existent municipal water or treatment facilities. This lack of water and sanitation infrastructure is a major problem that directly impacts hospitals and health care systems – either overburdening them with more disease in the population, or because they cannot count on basic water, sewage and waste disposal services to carry out their mission, or both.
When water is amply available, hospitals are often prodigious consumers in various facets of their operations. Overall, there are few reliable global water consumption benchmarks in healthcare.
In general, health facilities can conserve water resources by closely metering water use, installing water-efficient fixtures and technologies, growing drought-resistant landscape, and making sure that leaks are quickly repaired. For even greater impact on overall usage, hospitals in a number of countries are harvesting rainwater. Others recycle water for process purposes.