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Today is World Water Day. This year, more than 840,000 people will die due to lack of access to clean water. That’s unjust, and it’s also unnecessary. There’s been tremendous progress in the past 20 years; as a result, more women are able to work for income, and more children are able to go to school.

But the water crisis continues to be a massive barrier to gender equality, to improving global health, and to reducing poverty. Clean water makes a huge difference to communities, as nerdfighteria has seen from Bangladesh to Haiti to Ethiopia, and so on this World Water Day, I hope you’ll join me in taking a few minutes to read a bit about the water crisis and how governments and NGOs are trying to address it.


World Water Day 2014 on Instagram

For more photos and videos from World Water Day around the world, browse the #waterday and #worldwaterday hashtags.

Around the world, 1.2 billion people—nearly a fifth of the planet—lack access to clean water. To call attention to the plight, the United Nations designated March 22 as World Water Day. Here are just a few of the many people and organizations on Instagram working to raise awareness about water issues around the globe:

  • (@water) - Working with hundreds of communities in Africa, South Asia and Central America to provide access to safe water and sanitation. Collaborating with Benjamin Heath (@benjaminheath), Steph Goralnick (@sgoralnick) and Simone Bramante (@brahmino) to share scenes from Kenya on Instagram.
  • Balazs Gardi (@balazsgardi) - Photojournalist who has spent the past decade documenting the effects of the unfolding global water crisis.
  • charity: water (@charitywater) - A non-profit organization on a mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person on the planet. Currently working with Vik Muniz (@vikmuniz) and Students Rebuild (@studentsrebuild) to bring clean water to over 16,000 people in Tanzania.
  • Corey Arnold (@arni_coraldo) - Photographer and fisherman documenting glaciers for Project Pressure (@projectpressure) to create the world’s first interactive glacier archive in order to better understand climate change.
  • Hurley H2O (@hurley_h2o) - Hurley’s water initiative striving alongside Waves for Water (@wavesforwater) to provide clean water for everyone.
  • WaterAid (@wateraid) - Bringing water, sanitation and hygiene education to where it is needed most for over 30 years.
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium (@montereybayaquarium) - California aquarium with a mission to inspire conservation of the oceans.

78% of the Earth’s surface is water but only 0.01% of that is fresh and drinkable. Access to water you can drink should be a fundamental right, no matter who you are. Unfortunately, millions of us don’t even have access to this water. We’ve polluted with our own waste a lot of the fresh water that we so badly need. This needs to stop; we have to change our relationship with water for good.  
Join me in giving thanks to water this Sunday, March 22nd for World Water Day by participating in #LoveWater’s free events. Check out the video & find out how you can be a part of this here:


march 22 is world water day. globally, 783 million people lack access to clean water, and 3.6 million people — including 1.5 million children — die every year from entirely preventable water related illnesses. contaminated water is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five. 

women and children (girls twice as likely as boys) bear primary responsibility for water collection in most of the world’s households. in impoverished african and asian communities, the walk to get water is 3.7 miles on average. this is time not spent earning income or attending school. an additional 443 million school days are lost each year due to water related illness in children. 

more than one billion people around the world live in slums like the ones seen above, where they usually pay five to ten times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city. consider that by 2030, the number of people living in slums is expected to double, and that by 2050, 4 billion people could face water stress or scarcity conditions. 

photos by: 1. paul jeffrey in a displacement camp in juba, south sudan; 2. khalid rayhan shawon in drought stricken gabura, bangladesh; 3. gmb akash from the mollar slum in dhaka, bangladesh; 4. kate holt in bokola village, malawi; 5 john minchillo in mumbai’s dhavari slum; 6. tatan syuflana in the slums of jakarta, indonesia; 7. matthieu paley of afghanistan’s kyrgyz nomads 8. kate holt in port au prince, haiti; 9.robert mcpherson in nairobi’s kibera slum; 10, chris steele perkins in bangladesh. 

  • 394 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean are without water access.
  • 358 million people in Africa are without water access.
  • 195 million people in Southeast, East Asia and Oceania are without water access.
  • 9 million people are without water access in developed countries.
  • More than 840,000 people die from a water-related disease each year. That could be from diarrhea caused by derisory drinking water, hygiene and sanitation. It translates to 2,300 deaths per day.
  • About 750 million people do not have access to clean water, which is approximately 1 in every 9 people.
  • 82 percent of people who don’t have access to “improved” water live in rural areas.
  • There are more people who have a mobile phone than access to a toilet.
  • Women and children spend 140 million hours collecting fresh water every day.
  • 1 child dies from a water-related illness each day.
  • There is a $4 economic return for each dollar that is spent on water and sanitation.
  • The amount of safe water could drop by 40 percent in 15 years if people do not change the way they use water.

Happy World Water Day | IBT


Raising Awareness on World Water Day

Want to learn more about World Water Day? Find the United Nations event nearest to you here. Explore and share your own World Water Day photos through the #worldwaterday hashtag.

Around the world, more than 780 million people live without ready access to clean, safe drinking water. For the 85% of the world’s population that lives in the driest half of the planet, existing resources are becoming increasingly scarce.

To raise awareness about issues affecting water and how we access it, the United Nations has designated March 22 as World Water Day.

Among the organizations participating in this year’s World Water Day is charity: water (@charitywater), which drills water wells in small towns around the world. To raise awareness, charity: water is hosting a “water walk” in Times Square to demonstrate how difficult it is to carry water across long distances.

They’re also engaging and promoting others who are raising awareness for water access, like @rideforwater, a team of five college students who are embarking on a cross-country bicycle tour to raise money for a new well.

WaterAid (@wateraid) is also participating, and, for the past 20 days, has been sharing through Instagram the numerous ways access to clean water improves people’s lives.

Here are just a few of the many other organizations on Instagram working to bring clean water to those around the world:

Today, March 22nd, is International World Water Day. Today it is especially prudent we reflect on the current state and future of the Earth’s water. By calling attention to water contamination issues today, and advocating for responsible management of water resources, we can protect the future of clean water. Each of us must take action and work together to make a difference.

From me, Ramsay, Scott, Sam, and the entire Water Defense Team 


PHILIPPINES, Manila : A father and son (L) on a makeshift boat made from styrofoam paddle through a garbage filled river as they collect plastic bottles that they can sell in junkshops in Manila on March 19, 2015. They earn three US dollars a day. The Philippines will be observing World Water day on March 22, a global event that focuses on finding access to clean and safe water. AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS

Over 700 million people across the globe do not have access to pure drinking water. Today is World Water Day, and everyone can help out. To conserve water, you can eat less meat or go vegan/vegetarian (approx. 4,000 gallons of water is used to produce only 2 pounds of beef), do simple eco-friendly things (take shorter showers, turn off the water while brushing your teeth, etc), or make a donation to @charitywater. IG: @organicemily Please do not delete caption.

Made with Instagram

In honor of World Water Day, here’s the tale of two cities in Texas that have run out of water because of the drought. The town of Robert Lee in West Texas has already cut its water consumption by 80 percent, and conditions are only getting worse. 

According to climate scientists, little rainfall compounded by record high temperatures across the Southwest could be the new norm. In 2011, losses in crops, livestock and timber from the drought reached $10 billion.

Here’s the video and more. 

(Photos by Saskia de Melker)


World Water Day is Saturday, March 22nd. Access to clean sources of water continues to elude many people, though there has been progress. In the image above, women carry water from a reservoir created by harvesting the water vapor contained in fog high in the mountains of Nepal. Fog passes through a netting system and upon contact it condenses into water droplets; the droplets fall into pipes and are channeled to the village water tank. As a result of the system there is now sufficient water for a school in the village.

Photographer Brent Stirton has been documenting water issues throughout the world for over a decade. See more from Global Water Issues