Water Scarcity & The Importance of Water

Learn about access to water and the global water shortage

Clean, safe drinking water is scarce. Today, nearly 1 billion people in the developing world don't have access to it. Yet, we take it for granted, we waste it, and we even pay too much to drink it from little plastic bottles.

Water is the foundation of life. And still today, all around the world, far too many people spend their entire day searching for it.

In places like sub-Saharan Africa, time lost gathering water and suffering from water-borne diseases is limiting people's true potential.

Education is lost to sickness. Economic development is lost while people merely try to survive. But it doesn't have to be like this. It's needless suffering.



What is Water Scarcity?

More than just a lack of water...

Simply put, water scarcity is either the lack of enough water (quantity) or lack of access to safe water (quality).

It's hard for most of us to imagine that clean, safe water is not something that can be taken for granted. But, in the developing world, finding a reliable source of safe water is often time consuming and expensive. This is known as economic scarcity. Water can be found...it simply requires more resources to do it.

In other areas, the lack of water is a more profound problem. There simply isn't enough. That is known as physical scarcity.

The problem of water scarity is a growing one. As more people put ever increasing demands on limited supplies, the cost and effort to build or even maintain access to water will increase. And water's importance to political and social stability will only grow with the crisis.



When students are freed from gathering water, they return to class. With proper and safe latrines, girls stay in school through their teenage years.


Safe water, clean hands, healthy bodies. Time lost to sickness is reduced and people can get back to the work of lifting themselves out of poverty.


Access to water leads to food security. With less crop loss, hunger is reduced. Schools can feed students with gardens, reducing costs.


Access to water can break the cycle of poverty. The communities we serve are ready to grow. We can't wait to see how they choose to do it.

See how we're working to address the water crisis in Africa

In some places, it is simply dry. Water is hard to find. In others, this most critical need is literally only a few feet below ground waiting to sustain life.

The Water Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization working to provide access to clean water to people in developing nations who suffer needlessly without it.

With our team of supporters we're funding clean water projects like water wells and rain catchment systems.

Keith, Farmer, discussing her newly donated water project in Uganda
I thank God that I have lived until now to witness his goodness, mercy and love. The many years I have lived in this community, I have witnessed young and old people suffer and die of sanitation related diseases. I strongly believe this new borehole, if well maintained, will save us from such suffering....
Keith, Farmer
The Water Project: Kitabo Community
Lamin K. - Community Member, discussing her newly donated water project in Sierra Leone
The water from the swamp where we had been getting our water, since the well went dry, was full of disease. The rehabilitated well has pure water and the new hand pump is fine....
Lamin K. - Community Member
The Water Project: Gbonkowally Village Well Rehabilitation Project