Clean Water

Nutrition - Clean Water

The Issue:

783 million (1 in 9) people do not have access to clean water, and it is projected that two thirds of humanity will live in water-stressed areas by 2025. Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease. Gaining a better understanding of how water impacts political and social stability around the globe and knowing how to solve these problems is vital to addressing the growing water crisis.

Why It Matters:


  • Half the hospital beds in the world are filled with people suffering from water-borne diseases, according to the UNDP. [1]

  • Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.

  • 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases. [1]

Economic Impact

  • The water crisis is the #1 global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation), and the #8 global risk based on likelihood (likelihood of occurring within 10 years) as announced by the World Economic Forum, January 2015. [2]

  • If you think the water crisis is some distance issue, you’re wrong. More than twice the population of the United States lives without access to safe water. [3]

  • Water for irrigation and food production constitutes one of the greatest pressures on freshwater resource.  Globally we use 70% of our water sources for agriculture and irrigation, and only 10% on domestic uses. [4]

  • The World Health Organization estimates that, on average, every $1 invested in water and sanitation provides a $4 economic return. [5]

  • An estimated $260 billion is lost globally each year due to lack of adequate water supply and sanitation. [5]

  • Almost two-thirds, 64% of households rely on women to get the family’s water when there is no water source in the home. This compromises their education and and income-generating opportunities. [3]

  • Research has shown that for every 10% increase in women’s literacy, a country’s whole economy can grow by up to 0.3%. [6]

Be Part of the Solution:

Solving the global water crisis will require cross-sector collaboration. If individual donors, businesses, and the government work together to provide necessary support, there’s no reason anyone should suffer the health and economic consequences listed above. America’s Charities members are committed to addressing issues like the water crisis, and you can empower children and families all around the world by supporting these organizations.

Workplace Giving:

Empower employees to donate via payroll deduction to charities providing access to clean water. Learn more.

Corporate Philanthropy & Cause Marketing:

Align your company’s philanthropy efforts with a cause like providing access to clean water. See how America’s Charities can help you.

Donate Online:

Use America’s Charities website to learn about, connect with, and give to charities addressing the water crisis. Give now.


[1] UNDP 

[2] World Economic Forum (2015)

[3] World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) (2014)

[4] AQUASTAT.  Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations

[5] World Health Organization