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Georgians face lack of clean domestic water due to decaying infrastructure

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By Ben Turner  & Davit Kekenadze
Georgia has more than 25,000 waterways
Georgia has more than 25,000 waterways   -   Copyright  Euronews   -  

With over 25,000 rivers, Georgians often say they're proud of their country's waterways.

But just two-thirds of the population have access to clean drinking water, according to WHO and UNICEF.

Critics say the problem lies in decaying infrastructure, meaning some people in Georgia don't have any access to a domestic water supply.

"Some towns and cities do not have water supply systems and there is no company to manage it, therefore, regions are trying to find resources on their own," said Salome Vardiashvili, Georgia's energy ombudsman. 

She added: "This is the matter of investment, it requires a lot of money. This cost on the other hand, will impact prices and it can be a burden for the population.

"Access to water is hindered by other causes as well, such as climate change."

Georgia is facing "complex" issues in addressing its water problems, according to Vakhtang Kochoradze, project manager at the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network.

He added: "However, we can say for sure that the problem comes from infrastructure - the water network and reservoirs are not in working order."

The UN's Sustainable development goals include a target of accessible clean drinking water for all by 2030.

Yet with eight years left to accomplish this goal, more than 2 billion people - or 1 in 4 of the world's population - do not have access to clean drinking water.