Water supply

Water supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps or pipes.

The majority of the world’s population today has access to piped water through house connections or to an improved water source through means other than a house, including standpipes, water kiosks, spring supplies and protected wells. A clean water supply that is unpolluted is a critical determinant of public health.


A tap, also referred to as a spigot (referring to an outdoor fixture) or a faucet (US), is a valve controlling the release of a liquid or gas. In the UK, a tap commonly refers to an 'everyday' valve, particularly the fittings that control water supply to baths and sinks. These two water taps, made from chrome, are marked with a 'C' for cold and an 'H' for hot and are modern copies of a tap design that might have been seen originally in the Victorian period.