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

Greenland: Whale Hunting

When the fishermen-hunters from Qaqortoq bring back a whale, the shoppers are happy — whale meat is their favorite dish. Due to international quotas, the village is only allowed two whales per year.

Iceland: What Happended to Global Warming?

After an unusually stormy winter and a cold spring the people of Northern Iceland like to make fun of the global warming theory—but they don’t really question the scientific arguments.

Pulitzer Center Projects Receive Knight-Batten Honors

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting projects received an Honorable Mention and two Notable Entries in the annual Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism.

The Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism spotlight news and information providers who offer more than multimedia journalism. The awards honor novel efforts that seize and create opportunities to involve citizens in public issues and supply entry points that invite their participation or spark their imagination.

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.