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 is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all – 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.

United Nations Water Conference

2023 marks the midway point for the Sustainable Development Goals. However, with 1 in 10 people still without a reliable source of clean water, we’re nowhere near reaching goal 6: access to water and sanitation for all. We will be at the United Nations Water Conference on 22 March, calling on world leaders to step up and keep their promise to make sure everyone has clean water by 2030.

Find out more about what we'll be doing at the UN Water Conference

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 28.5 million people with clean water.

Find out how we’re using technology to provide reliable sources of 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

Groundwater: the world’s neglected defence against climate change

Read our report which reveals that Africa has enough groundwater to meet needs, but not the resource needed to access it.

WaterAid/ Dennis Lupenga

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