What We Do

Water is essential to human development and prosperity, yet many people still live without reliable access to this vital resource. Around the world, nearly 2.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water in their homes and about 4.4 billion lack access to proper sanitation. Residents of communities lacking a safe water supply and basic sanitation facilities wake up every day confronting threats of illness, lost income, or malnourishment. To make matters worse, water scarcity is forecast to intensify in the years and decades ahead.

USAID is the world's premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID's work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. In partnership with the U.S. Department of State, USAID co-led the U.S. Government’s efforts to develop the U.S. Government’s Global Water Strategy.

The U.S. Global Water Strategy envisions a water-secure world where people and nations have the water they need to be healthy, prosperous, and resilient. USAID contributes an agency-specific Water and Development Plan in furtherance of the new strategy. In this plan, USAID aims to provide 15 million people with sustainable access to safe drinking water services and 8 million people with sustainable access to sanitation services by 2022. These goals guide USAID’s water and sanitation objectives, which include:

USAID’s water and sanitation assistance is concentrated in countries and regions where needs and opportunities are greatest, and where engagement can best protect U.S. national security interests.  

Globalwaters.org is supported by the USAID Water Team, with the aim of fostering global knowledge and collaboration for sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene access for all, and providing water practitioners with the latest news, learnings, and resources from USAID and our partners.