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

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?

May 25, 2016

Deadly Pollution: The World's Most Toxic Places

Larry C. Price, Richard Paddock, Justin Kenny, Debbie M. Price

Pollution sickens and kills millions of people worldwide each year. This project explores the most toxic places with a focus on causes, consequences and possible solutions.

December 29, 2015

Land Health and Water Security in Southern Africa

Judith D. Schwartz

In northwest Zimbabwe, water sources are returning, people no longer depend on food aid, and wildlife populations are rebounding. What’s happening, and what does it mean for other poor areas?

March 09, 2017|

India: Toxic Tanneries

India is the world's second largest producer of leather and leather goods—the toxic working conditions and environmental effects are beyond measure.

March 01, 2017|

Undark Podcast: Wear and Tear

Podcast with former New York Times science editor David Corcoran discusses a series on the global leather tanning and textile industries with grantees Larry and Debbie Price.

July 17, 2016|

Meet the Journalist: Judith D. Schwartz

Environmental journalist Judith D. Schwartz travels to rural Zimbabwe to document how holistically-managed cattle revived a severely degraded landscape—in a way that has benefited wildlife and brought food security to local villagers.

January 11, 2016|

Meet the Journalist: Sharron Lovell

Like so many of Mao’s pronouncements, it sounded simple: “The South has a lot of water; the North lacks water. So if it can be done, borrowing a little water and bringing it up might do the trick.”

February 28, 2017|

The World's Most Toxic Places

This week: unregulated textile factories across Asia, a Somali migrant profiled, Jon Sawyer and Marvin Kalb dissect Trump and the media.

October 19, 2016|

This Week: Isolation in the Arctic

Growing Isolationism in the arctic, celebrating the Pulitzer Center's 10th anniversary, and India's dilemma of providing electricity to 1.3 billion people.