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

July 12, 2018

Cape Town's Water Crisis

Brett Walton

After three years of severe drought, Cape Town’s water supply is at the brink of failure. How do leaders and residents respond to an era of unreliable water?

February 19, 2018

The Return of a Dying Sea

Taylor Weidman, Dene-Hern Chen

For the fishing villages around the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan, fortunes ebb and flow with the water's tide.

February 01, 2018

Can the Polders of Bangladesh Be Saved?

Warren Cornwall, Tanmoy Bhaduri

In the 1960s, Bangladesh walled off parts of its coast to stop flooding and create farmland. Today that land is afflicted with chronic flooding, due to these very walls. Can the problem be solved?

December 07, 2016

Underwater Mining in the Pacific Ocean

Sarah Fahmy

An exploration into the emerging industry of underwater mining leads to more questions than answers. With time running out before this practice begins, are we acting irresponsibly?

July 18, 2016

India's Augean Stables

George Black

Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes on the Herculean task of cleaning up his country’s most sacred river, the Ganges. Can he succeed where all his predecessors have failed?

Hunting the Ghost Fleet

PRX reporter Sarah Blaskey and photojournalist Ben Feibleman dive into one of Central America's largest shark-fishing operations in this episode of Reveal.

E-book: 'Toxic Planet: The Global Health Crisis'

The Pulitzer Center launches its newest e-book: "Toxic Planet: The Global Health Crisis"—a searing look at pollution, an issue that affects us all. Now available on iTunes, Atavist, and Kindle.

Meet the Journalist: George Black

More than a billion gallons of raw sewage and industrial effluent pour into the Ganges every day. Can Prime Minister Narendra Modi clean up India's sacred river when everyone else has failed?