Why water? And what is the water crisis?

Learn more about how water changes everything in three minutes.

663 million people live without access to clean drinking water. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation causes more deaths each year than all forms of violence, including war.* Children are especially vulnerable to this -- their small bodies can’t handle the intense dehydration from diarrheal diseases.

In developing countries, women and children usually collect the water for their families. They walk miles each day to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely to make them sick. Time spent walking keeps them from attending school, working or taking care of their families.

But clean water changes everything.

Safe drinking water alone can reduce water-related deaths by 21%.* Water projects built near the home can restore hours to someone’s day. Instead of walking for water, adults can use this time to work and children can use it to get an education. Families with enough clean water to drink, bathe, clean and grow their own food can become self-sufficient households, less affected by external conflict, famine or inadequate government services.

*WHO/UNICEF JMP Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water, 2015

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