This metric represents the ratio of households with access to an improved water source other than a piped water source. These sources include boreholes or tubewells, protected dug wells, protected springs, rainwater, and packaged and delivered water.
Household surveys often don’t include enough information to determine if a spring or well is sufficiently protected, so as the upper bound, this metric is calculated assuming that they are. Countries that collect sufficient information in their household survey to really understand if the water source is improved are Bolivia, El Salvador, Paraguay, and Uruguay
Countries that provide a good amount of specificity but lack information about springs or whether the source is protected are:
- Honduras, which has good specificity but doesn't specifically mention protected wells
- Panama, which doesn't include springs
Most other countries lack the specificity to determine if a non-piped source truly is improved or not. Many household surveys do not include metrics about temporal availability or water quality, so including a household under this metric does not necessarily mean that the household has improved water access.