When we help a community dig a well or install a tapstand, it's no exaggeration to say it's the start of something life-changing.

It begins with access to safe, clean water, but it goes on to affect every aspect of people's lives – in ways you might not expect.

1. Water is education

Children raise their hands in a classroom in Pakistan.

Spending time in the classroom is something many children around the world can only dream of. When they no longer have to collect water for their families every day, that dream can come true – opening up a world of new opportunities.

2. Water is health

A baby at health clinic in Tanzania.

It’s simple, but it’s true: safe water saves lives. It helps babies make it through their vulnerable first five years, gives new mums the best possible chance of survival and gives everyone a fighting chance of avoiding waterborne diseases like typhoid and diarrhoea.

3. Water is livelihoods

A woman in her shop in Madagascar.

From managing a water kiosk to brewing beer and training as a mechanic; around the world, access to safe water is giving people the time and resources to find jobs, learn new skills and set up their own businesses, helping them lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

4. Water is time

Two smiling children with buckets in Madagascar.

In many communities collecting water is a job for girls and women. Around the world, it costs girls 152 million hours, every single day. But when they only need to carry it a few steps from the nearest waterpoint, that time is freed up – giving them the chance to laugh, to play and to go to school.

5. Water is transformation

Two workers build a well in Liberia.

150 years ago, London’s first sewerage system was built. It started the transformation of the UK's cities, helping to eliminate diseases like cholera. Now we’re working with some of the world’s poorest communities, helping them implement that same change so they can look forward to a healthier, happier future.

6. Water is dignity

A woman smiles in Timor Leste.

Water is the things we take for granted. It’s the feeling you get from being able to wash regularly in a clean, private place. And it’s the knowledge that you can relieve yourself, safely and discreetly, in a proper toilet instead of out in the open, protected from the risk of assault or attack.

7. Water is life

A boy splashes water in Madagascar.

We never get tired of talking about water. Why? Because, quite simply, we can’t live without it. And because every day, we get to hear the incredible stories of how it’s changing people’s lives. Forever.

Read more amazing stories of lives changed >