Water — the key to life. All countries and communities, rich and poor, depend on it to live. Yet, as we celebrate World Water Day on Friday, March 22, one in six people worldwide lack access to clean water sources. The global demand for water is doubling every 20 years, and by 2025, more than 2.8 billion people are expected to be living in either water-scarce or water-stressed regions.
The role of water in development is unmistakable, and improving its quality, management and use can positively affect millions of lives every year. To that end, the United Nations has designated 2013 the Year of Water Cooperation, elevating the need for the world to come together and meet the water needs of the planet. The goal of the Year of Water Cooperation is to raise awareness about the potential for cooperation, and the challenges of water management in the face of increasing demands for water access, allocation and services.
USAID has been a leader in providing individuals around the world with access to this vital resource. In FY 2011 alone, we provided more than 3.8 million people with improved access to a drinking water supply and more than 1.9 million with improved access to sanitation facilities. In a challenging context like Afghanistan, we improved irrigation on 25,000 acres of farmland, bringing new livelihoods, food security, and other benefits to more than 600,000 families. USAID and its in-country partners have linked these efforts to other key development priorities in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Tanzania where 1 million people living with HIV now have access to clean water.
- Learn about USAID’s efforts to improve water and sanitation around the globe.
- Read the latest posts on USAID’s IMPACT Blog: “Global Waters – World Water Day Edition” and “Water and International Cooperation”.