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

Cape Town's Water Crisis

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?

The Return of a Dying Sea

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

Can the Polders of Bangladesh Be Saved?

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?

Underwater Mining in the Pacific Ocean

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?

Land Grabbing Worsens Climate Change

Forestland grabs are not only denying land rights to forest communities and indigenous people but also leading to biodiversity loss and climate change.

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?

Resources for World Health Day 2019

April 7 is World Health Day, focusing this year on universal health coverage. If you want to help students understand the health crises facing their communities and the world as a whole, we have resources for you.

Watch Now: Tools and Tips for Cross-Border Data Journalism Projects

Watch Jacopo Ottaviani and the Pulitzer Center's Steve Sapienza discuss the growing use of data journalism in Africa's newsrooms, tips for organizing cross-border collaborations, and how civic technology capacity is influencing the use of open data and open governments in certain African countries.

This Week: Family Divided at the Border

This week: reunification dreams stall due to continuing crisis along the border, Cape Town's water issues run deep, and Bhopal's 34-year-old environmental disaster still plagues residents.