Project

South Asia's Troubled Waters

The majority of India's water sources are polluted. A lack of access to safe water contributes to a fifth of its communicable diseases. Each day in the booming, nuclear-armed nation, diarrhea alone kills more than 1,600 people.

The regional scenario is even more grim given the projected impact of population pressures and global warming—which aggravates the flood and drought cycle of the monsoon, and the melting of Himalayan glaciers that serve as a natural water reservoir used by a billion people. Northern India may run out of groundwater within a decade, leading to a collapse of agriculture in regions like Punjab, the country's "breadbasket." Pakistan is already on the brink of water scarcity. Meanwhile, a rash of environmentally questionable dam building along the nuclear rivals' shared rivers is further stoking geopolitical tension.

From India to Bangladesh and Nepal, this project will explore the role of local innovators and international actors in aggravating or alleviating the region's water crisis. The reporting will take them from the slums of Delhi to parched rural deserts, and from monsoon-ravaged Bangladesh to the Himalayas.

January 06, 2011|

The Water Problem of My Homeland

 

"When I was a kid," said my grandmother, "the water was so clean that you could swim, drink, or catch fish. Now it's so dirty that almost nothing is alive. The water of this river is totally polluted and people don't have enough water to drink."

October 15, 2010|

From Drought to Flood - Water Images Across the Globe

Water issues affect us all, from the women who spend hours daily fetching water to political battles over international rivers to melting icepack and rising sea levels. We are all downstream.

Worldwide, just under 900 million people lack reliable access to safe water that is free from disease and industrial waste. And forty percent do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities. The result is one of the world's greatest public health crisis: 4,500 children die every day from waterborne diseases, more than from HIV-AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

April 09, 2010|

World Water Day Writing Contest Winner: A Drop of Grace

For many of us, it's hard to envision a time when water will not be readily available. From drinking to cleaning, water is a constant and often underappreciated presence in our lives. But for 884 million people clean water is a precious commodity. And if we continue to deplete our clean water sources, it will inevitably affect us all.