3 women and one donkey walk from right to left, carrying large yellow jugs of water on their backs.

Water and Sanitation

Currently, three in ten people lack access to safe drinking water, and six in ten lack access to adequate sanitation. Increased temperatures, more frequent and extreme events like droughts and floods, rainfall variability, and sea level rise all affect freshwater resources for drinking and sanitation, agriculture and irrigation, and industry.

Increasing incidence and severity of droughts and floods can contaminate drinking water, damage water systems, cause sewage overflows, reduce freshwater availability, and exacerbate intrusion of saltwater to aquifers. These adverse impacts are likely to lead to less reliable supplies of water for drinking, hygiene and sanitation, and for agriculture, energy and ecosystems. They may also contribute to conflict over water access or population displacement, and in the case of floods, increase the spread of waterborne disease.

Water resources management is a multisectoral challenge, and connecting this work to Agency programming on climate change, resilience and natural resources management is critical. USAID's contributions aim to improve the availability of water, not only for human health, but for agriculture and food security, economic productivity, and ecosystem health. Improving the efficiency of water systems, which can be very energy-intense, can also contribute to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.


Climate Resilient Water Infrastructure

Produced through the USAID Be Secure project, this paper compiles data and information on the range of practices in infrastructure design found throughout the Philippines, and how the infrastructure was affected by climate-related events such as damaging storms like Yolanda, as well as droughts during El Niño periods.

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To strengthen communities' access to and management of water and pasture, USAID EKISIL—which means “peace” in the local language of Karamoja—initiated climate risk management (CRM) actions in the Abim, Kaabong, Kotido, and Moroto districts
USAID’s work across numerous sectors helps countries achieve ambitious climate targets and aids in building the foundation for sustainable growth through natural climate solutions.
On World Water Day, March 22, 2021, USAID announced its second annual Water Warrior Awards, which recognizes the value of its water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) leads who work on the front lines with local partners and communities.