Global Waters Article

Thinking Outside the Latrine: Startups Test New Toilets

The key to protecting the health of billions may be…worms?

Indeed, USAID is supporting the field-testing of a latrine, dubbed the Tiger Toilet, which is powered by worms. The toilet looks like a typical latrine and provides a normal pour-flush experience for users. But inside its compact tank, Tiger Worms reduce the system’s excrement by more than 80 percent.


USAID India's Water-Energy Nexus Activity (WENEXA) Project

The agriculture sector is one of the major consumers of electricity and groundwater in India. Inefficient water pumps used by farmers lead to the overuse and waste of two important resources: energy and water. USAID's Water Energy Nexus (WENEXA) project has worked to address this problem through a pilot program that replaces inefficient pumps with efficient ones and activities which result in the improvement of the groundwater table. Watch the video to learn more.

Global Waters Article

Bringing Swachh Bharat to 4,041 Cities One Neighborhood at a Time

In 2014, the Government of India launched the ambitious Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission to improve urban quality of life by eliminating open defecation and increasing sanitation coverage in its more than 4,000 cities by October 2, 2019 — the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. During my visit there earlier this year, I saw significant progress being made toward this goal and was proud of the technical assistance the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing to strengthen national sanitation and support this effort.

Country Profile


India is the second most populous country in the world, with almost 60 percent of the population living in urban areas. That number is rapidly increasing, putting stress on water and sanitation services. 

Global Waters Article

Using Mobile Phones to Alert Households Waiting for ‘NextDrop’ of Water

Although nearly half of the world’s population now has water piped into their homes and there have been significant improvements to water access in recent decades, many people living in urban areas of developing countries still do not have easy access to this most basic resource. And even where pipes do reach the urban poor, water sometimes does not.

“Literally, people wait around their house until the water comes on,” said Anu Sridharan, a founder of a social enterprise called NextDrop. “We’ve met people who’ve missed weddings, funerals and meetings.”


Clean Water Means Life to These Indian Moms

For Ruksana Begum, the 1-kilometer-long walk to the nearby water purification center has now become worth her children’s lives.

Each morning as the clock strikes 10, Begum leaves her home carrying an empty 20-liter water can and a 5 rupee coin (8 cents) in her hand. As she arrives at the water center, she patiently waits in the queue to fill her can. Before leaving, Begum hands over the coin to Shiva, the revenue collector at the water center, and then walks back home with the filled water can, her eyes gleaming with a smile that’s hard to ignore.

Global Waters Article

USAID Joins 100,000 Women in India to Bring Dignity, Safety, and Health to a City of Two Million

At USAID we recognize the threat poor sanitation combined with rapid urbanization presents to human health, dignity, and prosperity. This is why we have made urban sanitation a global priority for the Agency. During a recent visit to India, I was able to see some of the work being done to bring sanitation services to urban areas, and had the good fortune to meet some inspiring women who are advancing these efforts in their communities.