CAF America Insider Blog

World Water Day: 4 Perspectives from Around the Globe

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Posted by Nicole Varner on March 19, 2014.


Saturday, March 22nd is World Water Day.

Water is a significant part of everyday life, and many people in the developed world might not typically think twice about it.  How is water viewed in different contexts around the globe?

1. You are a woman in Ethiopia.

Globally, women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water.  Time spent walking and the medical issues they may face as a result can keep them from school, work, and taking care of their families. Along their long walks, they may be subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault. (Source: charity: water)

With safe water more easily accessible, women are free to pursue new opportunities and improve their families’ lives.

» For a deeper perspective, read “The Last Walk for Water.”

2. You are a child in India.

Children in India have the highest death rate due to diarrhea, usually caused by rotavirus found in unsanitary water sources.  From a broader perspective, one child around the world dies every 21 seconds from a water-related illness. For the survivors, 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness. (Source: UNICEF/WHO)

With safe, clean water, children have a chance to grow and get an education.

» For a deeper perspective, read about a program offering a “WaterCredit” Loan.

3. You are a family in Honduras.

You live in a slum, below the poverty line, with an annual household income of less than $730 USD. People living in informal settlements, such as slums, often pay 5-10 times more per liter of water than wealthy people living in the same city. If provided access to credit, poor households are found to be able to allocate a significant portion of their income to sanitation investments. For each $1 invested, the World Health Organization estimates returns of $3 – $34, depending on the region and technology. (Sources:; charity: water; WSP/The World Bank)

Not only can water improve health, but it can provide economic opportunities for the world’s most disadvantaged individuals.

» For a deeper perspective, read about a well project in Rio Platano and Brus Laguna.

4. You are an average citizen of a developed nation, a businessperson.

90% of global power generation is water-intense, and roughly 75% of all industrial water withdrawals are used for energy production. By 2035, global energy consumption will increase by 50%, increasing water consumption by 85%. (Source:

Water is an investment in the future.

» For a deeper perspective, check out these infographics on hydroelectricity and other topics related to energy and water use.

6 Ways to be Involved on World Water Day

1. Learn more about how organizations focused on water related issues are striving to bring people clean water: One DropOK Clean Water Project; and charity:water.

2. Donate a photo to via the Donate a Photo app, and Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to help give someone access to clean water.

3. Spread the WordToast to Water; then, Share your Water Day celebrations with on Instagram with the tag #waterday.

4. Read the UN’s World Water Development Report, to be released on March 21st —  its focus is Water and Energy.

5. Participate in the UNICEF Tap Project and see how long you can go without touching your phone.  For every 10 minutes you resist, donors and sponsors will fund one day of clean water for a child in need.

5. Tweet to @CAFAmerica with the tag #waterday and let us know how you’re celebrating World Water Day.




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