USAID’s Water-Secure World Photo Contest 2023

USAID’s Water-Secure World Photo Contest 2023
Water for the World 2022 Photo Contest winner. Photo Credit: Will Baxter, Catholic Relief Services

What better way to share USAID’s vision for a water-secure world than through photos? Submit your photos that demonstrate USAID’s progress towards improving health, prosperity, stability, and resilience through sustainable and equitable water resources management and access to safe drinking water and sanitation services and hygiene practices.

See the 2023 Winners


Localizing a water-secure world

USAID seeks photos that demonstrate the strategic objectives and principles of the 2022 U.S. Global Water Strategy.  Please submit your photos that best represent one or more of the following:

  • Strategic Objective 1: Strengthen Water and Sanitation Sector Governance, Financing, Institutions, and Markets 
    Examples: Mobile payments for water or sanitation services; Multi-stakeholder processes that feature local leaders; Training or in-service for basin organizations or regulators 
  • Strategic Objective 2: Increase Equitable Access to Safe, Sustainable, and Climate-Resilient Drinking Water and Sanitation Services and the Adoption of Hygiene Practices 
    Examples: Individuals or communities gaining household piped access to water services; Professional vacuum truck operator service; Inclusive (disability, gender identify, etc.) sanitation facilities in institutions or markets 
  • Strategic Objective 3: Improve Climate-Resilient Conservation and Management of Freshwater Resources and Associated Ecosystems 
    Examples: Nature-based solutions for flood protection; Mapping efforts of forest cover, areas of high water recharge, groundwater, etc. 
  • Strategic Objective 4: Anticipate and Reduce Conflict and Fragility Related to Water
    Examples: Cooperation between groups that depend on shared water resources that integrates conflict response and/or builds resilience to shocks; Humanitarian WASH or water resources management response


This contest is open to anyone!


  • Photos should demonstrate how USAID programming supports water security, sanitation, and hygiene outcomes aligned with the U.S. Global Water Strategy and portray people with dignity and respect (e.g., people appear clean and healthy, people are using water from clean containers).  Please visit the USAID Photo Guide for Partners for visual storytelling tips. 
  • Photos must be original submissions, submitted by the photographer or by someone else with the photographer’s permission and not previously submitted to another Water for the World photo contest.  
  • Photos must be taken within the last three years.
  • Photos must be submitted in color.
  • Photos with a logo or time stamp visible will not be accepted.
  • Each submission must include:
    • One high-resolution photo (4,000-6,000 x 2,000-3,000 px)
    • A clear caption explaining who is in the photo, where they are, and what they are doing. If no people, please use the caption to explain the context of the image.
    • Date the photo was taken
    • Photo credit: Name of photographer or activity, and organization affiliation, as applicable
    • Contact information so we can reach out with questions and notify winners

NOTE: Please be especially conscious about the use of photos that depict young children.  Reconsider submitting such photos if you cannot verify parental consent. In photos of young children, it is best to include a parent or guardian in the photo. Please ensure that photos of children are appropriate (i.e., children are fully clothed, clean, appear healthy, not barefoot).


Please complete this submission form (one form for each photo) and email your photos as an attachment to with the subject line “2023 Water for the World Photo Contest”. Each individual, activity, or organization may submit an unlimited number of high-quality photos. 

Submission deadline: Thursday, June 1, 2023


By submitting a photograph to this competition you:

  1. Declare that you own the copyright of the photograph and it is your original work.
  2. Declare that you have received permission to use the visual image of any identifiable individual or building in the photograph for entry into the competition and that the image may be published as stipulated. 
  3. Agree that USAID and/or other individual U.S. Government (USG) Water for the World and Global Waters partners who use the photo will not be responsible for the infringement of any third-party rights in the photograph that may arise as a result of your actions or omissions and that you indemnify USAID and/or other individual USG Water for the World and Global Waters partners against all legal fees, claims, damages and other expenses that may be incurred as a result of your breach of the contest rules.
  4. Grant reproduction rights for Water for the World and Global Waters (under USAID and the interagency) use and in doing so agree that USAID and/or other individual partners can use your photograph for the purposes of the competition and also for future reproduction on websites and literature and other materials at USAID’s and/or other individual partners’ discretion (photographs will be credited where appropriate).

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