Issue

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

The Toxic Toll of Indonesia's Gold Mines

Mercury waste from small-scale gold mining contaminates air, water and food to sicken and kill. In a series on global pollution, we look at mercury's deadly toll, especially on the young.

China’s Water Crisis in Two Minutes

A short explainer on China's water crisis. Factors including climate change, pollution, urbanization and energy demands have led to a severe water crisis in China.

Listening for Landslides

A year after a devastating earthquake triggered killer avalanches and rock falls in Nepal, scientists are wiring up mountainsides to forecasts hazards.

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.

Can Malaria Be Stopped?

Inadequate medical care, substandard sanitation, and counterfeit drugs are just some of the reasons why malaria continues to claim millions of lives worldwide. Could chemoprevention be the answer?