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

Botswana: Vestiges of Water

In the remote corner of Botswana near the Namibian border, the San village of Shaikerawe has long been pocked with dry boreholes and empty bowsers.

Common Language Team presents at Americans for Informed Democracy's Global Scholar Program

On July 10th, The Common Language team presented their reporting on the growing water crisis in Ethiopia and Kenya to Americans for Informed Democracy's Global Scholar Program. The course seeks to give students a historical overview of international affairs and a background on the most important international institutions. It takes an in-depth look at globalization and the U.S. role in our increasingly globalized world.

Round Two: Winning Essays

In May 2008, the Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to continue its second round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Writing Contest. Find the winning essays here.

Round One: Winning Essays

In March 2008, The Pulitzer Center partnered with Helium to launch its first round of the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Contest. Find the winning essays here.

One World Features Pulitzer Center's "Water Wars" Project

OneWorld.net highlights the Pulitzer Center's ongoing "Water Wars: Ethiopia and Kenya" reporting project on February 28 in the Today's News section of its website. The project, conducted by the young journalists of the Common Language Project, addresses the increasing scarcity of water in East Africa and how the shortage is fueling conflict in the region.

See OneWorld's feature in its February 28 Today's News section.