Water and Sanitation

Water issues affect us all, from the women who spend hours a day 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 40 percent do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities. The result is one of the world's greatest public health crises: 4,500 children die every day from waterborne diseases, more than from HIV-AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.

A robust economy depends on water. So does a thriving ecosystem. Enter politics, fulcrum of the water issue, weighing the fate of economies against the health of individuals and of the environment as a whole. Balance has been elusive. One fifth of the world's population lives in areas where water is physically scarce, and a quarter of the population faces shortages due to lack of infrastructure.

Water and Sanitation was produced by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in partnership with National Geographic, PBS NewsHour, the Common Language Project, and the Under-Told Stories Project. Support provided by the Laird Norton Family Foundation and individual donors.



Water and Sanitation

Meet Dan Grossman

Daniel Grossman is a radio and web producer, and a print journalist. In his 20 years of experience, he has reported stories from all 7 continents and has been featured on NPR, PRI, BBC, New York Times, The Boston Globe and many other world renown news outlets.

Lesson Plans: Water Wars

With this lesson plan, students explore Pulitzer Center reporting on water shortage and access in East Africa and gain perspective by participating in related activities.

This Week: A Moveable Piece

The latest round of US-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks has produced hints of a breakthrough on the most contentious of all issues—the final status of Jerusalem.

This Week: When the Fish are Gone

Global warming, pollution and overfishing are killing the world’s oceans. Pulitzer Center grantees Erik Vance and Dominic Bracco II take us to the Sea of Cortez.