Everything begins with water.

Water is the foundation of all sustainable development. It impacts every aspect of life: hygiene and sanitation, mental and social well-being, justice issues for women and children, education, the economy, and the environment.

Yet 703 million people lack basic access to water, trapped in a cycle of poverty when their most essential human need is inaccessible.

More than 820,000 people are estimated to die each year due to water-related illnesses
Safe water access, sanitation, and hygiene are critical for physical and mental health. Drinking contaminated water can lead to diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. Without safe hygiene behaviors and sanitation infrastructure, such as latrines, people are more susceptible to the spread of infectious diseases. Fear and anxiety that come from illnesses related to contaminated water or inadequate sanitation and hygiene facilities can severely impact people’s spiritual, social, and emotional well-being.

Education & Children

1 in 5 children lack access to basic drinking water
Some children have access to water, but it’s not safe to drink. Other children, primarily young girls, walk for miles in search of it, only to find there isn’t enough for their basic needs. Because of this, 443 million school days are lost each year, and children have their futures stolen from them when they can’t attend school or are too exhausted to focus on class after long, dangerous walks for water. When children aren’t granted access to the safe water they deserve, their hopes and means for a brighter future are lost.


Women spend 200 million hours each day collecting water

The global water crisis impacts all people, but none more so than women and young girls who bear the heaviest weight of its effects. The average distance that women in Africa and South Asia walk to collect water is 3.7 miles. During this long walk, girls are more vulnerable to being physically attacked or sexually assaulted. Young girls are less likely to continue their education when they lack the safe sanitation infrastructure to practice proper menstrual hygiene management. When women are empowered through safe water, they have more time and equal opportunity to rise to their fullest potential.

economic potential


$260 billion is lost each year due to inadequate water supply and sanitation
For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is $4.30 in economic returns, as safe water and sanitation are precursors to health care, education, and jobs. Families often spend their time and energy collecting water rather than investing in economic opportunities such as their livelihoods or furthering their education. Water-borne illnesses are equally detrimental to a person’s well-being when they are too sick to pursue the goals for their future. This stolen time has profound impacts on a community’s overall economic development and prevents entire regions from breaking their cycle of poverty.


2.3 billion people live in water-stressed countries
Water is the most essential resource on earth. As the world experiences the impact of our changing climate, water scarcity is becoming more prevalent in nearly every region of the globe. One-quarter of the global population lives in countries that face water shortages due to weak governance and human capacities and a lack of infrastructure to transport water from rivers and aquifers. Implementing innovative, sustainable, and environmentally friendly WASH (water access, sanitation, and hygiene) services are crucial to navigating the future of the global water crisis.
Through safe water, we can give health, provide education and safety for children, grant equal opportunity for women, improve the economic future of a community, and bring environmental change to the world.