771 million people around the world still don’t have access to water close to home. That’s 1 in 10 people.

Without clean water, people are denied access to opportunities that should be open to everyone, everywhere.

Whole communities are held back while others thrive, simply because they don’t have access to clean water.

This is a global water, sanitation and hygiene crisis. In 2015, world leaders committed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Goal 6 focuses on water and sanitation – but some countries are not years, but centuries behind reaching this target.

The global water crisis stops people from having an equal chance to be healthy, educated and financially secure.

Water and

Millions of people worldwide don't have access to clean water and soap, the first line of defence against the spread of diseases like COVID-19.

WaterAid/ Guilhem Alandry

Water and

Collecting water every day leaves little time for school, and drinking dirty water often makes children too ill to attend.

WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala

Water and

Clean water allows people to focus on earning an income instead of collecting dirty water which can make them or their family fall sick.

WaterAid/ Ernest Randriarimalala

Why don't people just move closer to water (or boil it)?

Open sources of water usually aren’t safe. They’re often shared with animals, and contaminated with waterborne diseases like cholera.

They're also unreliable, drying up or running out, often because of climate change. A community cannot move every time this happens.

Boiling water doesn’t get rid of particles of dirt and burning a constant supply of fuel can be very difficult, expensive and bad for health and the environment.

I collect water from the river, it's far away.

I know it's dirty water but where do I collect clean water from?
Josefina, 12 from Mozambique

What does WaterAid do to fix this?

Since 1981 we’ve directly reached 28.1 million people with clean water.

But there are still millions of people who face the dangers of drinking water every day, and the impact of climate change is making things worse. This shouldn’t be normal. But we are determined to keep working until everyone, everywhere has access to clean water.

What can I do?

Make a donation today and help to transform lives

Support our work to provide a reliable source of water to people like Jemima.

WaterAid/ Tom Greenwood

Read Turn the tide: the state of the world's water 2021

With our climate changing at an alarming rate, it is becoming harder and harder for the world’s poorest people to get clean water.

WaterAid/Genaye Eshetu

Swim for WaterAid

Join Team WaterAid at the Great Swim Series this June and help bring the joy of clean water to people around the world.

An outdoor swimmer smiles and raises their hand as they take part in a mass swim
Great Swim