Clean water, better lives

Sunset over lake (USAID)

When you think about how to build a better world, think about providing clean water to about 663 million people worldwide who don’t have it. Water availability and access are connected to all the things we need to create the future we want, according to U.N. Water.

On World Water Day, March 22, U.N. Water highlights the importance of water and sustainable development in health, urbanization, industry, energy, agriculture and equal opportunities for women and girls.

Children washing hands at long sink (USAID)
Children wash their hands at a school sanitation facility in Jakarta, Indonesia, installed through USAID’s Clean Green Hygiene program. (USAID)

This international focus has been influential in the progress that’s been made in delivering clean water to greater numbers of people. Today, improved drinking water flows to 2.6 billion more people than received it in 1990, according to the U.N.

Infographic depicting benefits of clean water (State Dept./Jamie McCann)
(State Dept./Jamie McCann)

Water improves the quality of life for the world’s poorest people:

  • Better health
    • Clean water allows better hygiene and sanitation and reduces exposure to waterborne diseases that sicken hundreds of millions of people a year.
  • Economic growth
    • The burden of disease and premature death is lessened by water access, which lets people devote more time to productive activity and emerge from poverty.
Woman drawing water from pump (USAID)
USAID installed a water pump in this African village, giving ready access to clean water. (USAID)
  • Improving the lives of women and girls

Do you know how your community is marking World Water Day?  The U.N. has an interactive map showing events taking place all over the globe.