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Whatever the weather

We can't do anything to stop climate change.

But we can make sure people have water they can rely on, even in an unreliable climate.  

Two women, holding water jugs, walking across extremely dry, cracked earth.

We've all seen the headlines

Rising temperatures.
Flash floods.
Landslides.
Drought.

It’s a perfect storm fed by climate change.

Two white hands hold a mobile phone. An image of women in saris walking through floodwater is on screen.

While we can’t stop the storm from coming, WaterAid can make sure that everyone, everywhere has the water they need, whatever the weather.

Two white hands hold a mobile phone depicting cracked earth caused by drought on screen.

If you want to take positive action to support people feeling the brunt of extreme weather, please consider supporting our projects.

How do we do it?

Close up of water coming from a water pump with a bright green wall in the background

Photo Credit: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanath

Photo Credit: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanath

We work with people

We work with the communities left furthest behind to build water supplies that keep pumping, come rain or shine. We’ve been doing this for 40 years, working with industry partners and side-by-side with people in countries that are among the worst affected by climate change.

A group of Nepali wworkers dig a trench for pipework. One of them is holding a circle of pipe in one hand.

Man Bahadur Thami, 46 (pictured crouching) leads community members as they dig a trench to lay pipework for a new water system in northeastern Nepal. Photo Credit: WaterAid/ Mani Karmacharya

Man Bahadur Thami, 46 (pictured crouching) leads community members as they dig a trench to lay pipework for a new water system in northeastern Nepal. Photo Credit: WaterAid/ Mani Karmacharya

An official in Ethiopia inspects a water tower. He holds a trapdoor open with his right hand and looks over his shoulder at the camera.

Leyew Animut inspects the water tower in Finote Selam, Ethiopia, Image: WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence

An official in Ethiopia is poised to sip from a glass of water.

Leyew sips water that has come from an underground pipe system at a coffee shop in Finote Selam, Ethiopia, February 2020. Image: WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence

An official in Ethiopia inspects a water tower. He holds a trapdoor open with his right hand and looks over his shoulder at the camera.

Leyew Animut inspects the water tower in Finote Selam, Ethiopia, Image: WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence

An official in Ethiopia is poised to sip from a glass of water.

Leyew sips water that has come from an underground pipe system at a coffee shop in Finote Selam, Ethiopia, February 2020. Image: WaterAid/ Joey Lawrence

Leyew Animut is one of many local experts we work with to get clean water to people. A manager at a water services company in Ethiopia, he says:

Even though climate change has a huge effect nationally, we have witnessed its direct effect on our Institution’s work. Without rain, the water from the spring gets lower. This forces people to queue for water.
When people have water, they can keep their hygiene properly. Previously people used to travel to far places to fetch water but now many households have tap water at home.

We enable people to share knowledge

We pool knowledge and share expertise so that communities can learn from each other.

Right now, people young and old around the world are championing the right to water, demanding better investment in sustainable water solutions from their governments, and calling the world’s attention to the impact that climate change is having on their access to clean water.

A young Zambian DJ sits in front of a microphone wearing headphones. She wears a checked pink and blue collared shirt.

Climate change ambassador and youth reporter Beatrice in action in Lusaka, Zambia. She's spent the past five years presenting a weekly radio show on the importance of the environment and the impact of climate change. Photo Credit: WaterAid/ Chileshe Chanda

Climate change ambassador and youth reporter Beatrice in action in Lusaka, Zambia. She's spent the past five years presenting a weekly radio show on the importance of the environment and the impact of climate change. Photo Credit: WaterAid/ Chileshe Chanda

A Bangladeshi woman in a red, black and yellow sari stands next to her husband who is wearing a checked shirt and blue trousers.

WaterAid/ DRIK/ Habibul Haque

A Bangladeshi woman wearing a red, yellow and black sari uses a handheld broom to sweep the steps of her raised toilet.

WaterAid/ DRIK/ Habibul Haque

A Bangladeshi woman in a red, black and yellow sari stands next to her husband who is wearing a checked shirt and blue trousers.

WaterAid/ DRIK/ Habibul Haque

A Bangladeshi woman wearing a red, yellow and black sari uses a handheld broom to sweep the steps of her raised toilet.

WaterAid/ DRIK/ Habibul Haque

Anita Das lives with her husband and four children in Trimohoni village, Khulna, southwestern Bangladesh. The area is prone to flooding, and the country itself is one of the worst affected by climate change.

Earlier we had a makeshift latrine by the lake. Most of the time it used to overflow we could smell the rancid smell of human waste.”

We worked with local partners Rupantar to build a raised, flood-resistant toilet as part of a project in Anita’s village.

When we started using the toilet built by WaterAid and Rupantar, I noticed a significant change in my health and my family's as well.

We used to suffer from diarrhea and stomach upsets almost every month but after the toilet was built, stomach upsets have become a rare case for my family.

We use technology

Technology is the best defense against the uncertainty that climate change brings. Through industry partnerships, both national and international, we empower communities with water technologies that can be easily adapted to their context.

These technologies include:

  • building raised taps and toilets that can withstand floods
  • drilling boreholes to get to water deep underground
  • installing robust pipe networks
  • creating reservoir tanks in hilly areas that feed water to communities downhill
  • using energy from solar panels to pump water from underground
  • building water vending machines that dispense water

From water ATMs to compost, WaterAid technology has it covered. Check out our playlist on YouTube.

Climate-resilience in the field

Here are some examples of our climate-resilient solutions.

Tap the sun

We use solar power to power water pumps.

Built to Last

We install robust, climate-resilient pipes.

Going Deeper Underground

We use drills to drill borehole wells that can access ground water deep underground.

(A recent water project had a 60 meter deep borehole well!)

(Did you know that ground water represents a huge, untapped source of clean water? Read our Ground Water Report to learn how the solution to water scarcity could be right under our feet.

Sensible precautions

We install elevated taps and toilets that can withstand floods. This helps to prevent the spread of disease in the event of a flood as the toilet system will not contaminate the drinking water.

Seasonality

We provide rainwater storage tanks to use as a backup supply in the dry season.

Technology

Smart chips monitor the incoming water volume and outgoing water usage. These smart meters send alerts to the community. This insight allows the community to plan their water usage together.

The solutions exist, we just need your help to get the work done.

This is where you come in

$35 can pay for 5 bags of cement to build a raised platform for taps and toilets for the community.

$75 can pay for a rainwater tank that equips a family with clean water to off-set the dry season.

$107 can pay for 1 meter of a borehole deep well that provides water for the community.

$478 can pay for 1 solar panel that will power a water pump, to extract water from underground.

Two brown hands cup a senor in their palms. The hands are working hands - encrusted with dust and dirt.

Sensors powered by AI technology produced by Similie, are installed in the water storage tank in this village in Timor-Leste. WaterAid/ Vlad Sokhin

A woman in Burkina Faso wears a white headscarf and bright yellow blouse and skirt with black blockprint. She holds a pen and paper in her hands as she inspects a white rain gauge.
A woman in Burkina Faso wears a white headscarf and bright yellow blouse and skirt with black blockprint. She holds a pen and paper in her hands as she inspects a white rain gauge.

Justine Sawadogo, 30, reads and records data from a rain gauge installed in Bonam village, Burkina Faso. As part of a project supported by the European Union and players of the People's Postcode Lottery, we provide training to Justine and others so they can manage their water resources locally. Image: WaterAid/ Basile Ouedraogo

A woman in Burkina Faso wears a white headscarf and bright yellow blouse and skirt with black blockprint. In her left hand is a pickaxe, which is resting on her shoulder as she looks up at the sky. She stands in the midst of an arid field.

Justine stands with her pickaxe, eyes turned to the sky, her millet field dry from days without rain, Bonam village, Burkina Faso. Image: WaterAid/ Basile Ouedraogo

Two brown hands cup a senor in their palms. The hands are working hands - encrusted with dust and dirt.

Sensors powered by AI technology produced by Similie, are installed in the water storage tank in this village in Timor-Leste. WaterAid/ Vlad Sokhin

A woman in Burkina Faso wears a white headscarf and bright yellow blouse and skirt with black blockprint. She holds a pen and paper in her hands as she inspects a white rain gauge.
A woman in Burkina Faso wears a white headscarf and bright yellow blouse and skirt with black blockprint. She holds a pen and paper in her hands as she inspects a white rain gauge.

Justine Sawadogo, 30, reads and records data from a rain gauge installed in Bonam village, Burkina Faso. As part of a project supported by the European Union and players of the People's Postcode Lottery, we provide training to Justine and others so they can manage their water resources locally. Image: WaterAid/ Basile Ouedraogo

A woman in Burkina Faso wears a white headscarf and bright yellow blouse and skirt with black blockprint. In her left hand is a pickaxe, which is resting on her shoulder as she looks up at the sky. She stands in the midst of an arid field.

Justine stands with her pickaxe, eyes turned to the sky, her millet field dry from days without rain, Bonam village, Burkina Faso. Image: WaterAid/ Basile Ouedraogo

We provided training for 30-year-old farmer, Justine. Now, she regularly monitors this rain gauge installed in Bonam village, Burkina Faso.

"I had heard about this rain gauge technology before but I had never seen it and I didn't know how it worked

By installing this here it will help us monitor and measure the amount of rain in the village.

It will help us to better understand the rainfall and water management."

With the right technology and tools, communities can better prepare themselves against extreme and unreliable weather.

A parched lake or river bed with trees in the distance.

Image: WaterAid/DRIK/Suman Paul

A parched lake or river bed with trees in the distance.

Image: WaterAid/DRIK/Suman Paul

No, we can't stop climate change

but...



By working with people, empowering communities to share knowledge, and using effective water technologies, we're making sure people can weather the uncertainty of our changing climate. 
 
 

Men in Africa are lined up across from each other with hoes to dig a trench.

We can help people live through climate change – today, tomorrow, and long into the future.


Whatever you decide today, I want to assure you that we will not pass people by because the environments they live in are harsh and uncertain. And we will not compromise on quick fixes that may not deliver in the long term.

The joy of clean water must be for everyone for always, not just for some and not just for today – so we will always find a way, whatever the future brings. Thank you so much for making that possible.If you have the means, please donate now.