USAID #WaterSecureWorld Photo Contest Rules

Photo credits (left to right): USAID/Indonesia, WADA Zambia, UNICEF/Kate Holt, USAID/Lebanon, USAID/Ecuador
Photo credits (clockwise, from top left): USAID/Indonesia, WADA Zambia, USAID/Ecuador, USAID/Lebanon, UNICEF/Kate Holt

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Deadline extended to March 30!

In a water-stressed world billions of people worldwide lack safe drinking water and sanitation access, negatively impacting public health, economic growth, and food production. The new U.S. Government Global Water Strategy envisions a water secure world, where people and nations have the water they need to be healthy, prosperous, and resilient. USAID, through its Water and Development Plan, is contributing to the Strategy by providing 15 million people with sustainable access to safe drinking water services and 8 million people with sustainable sanitation.

Can You Picture a Water Secure World?

USAID is holding a photo contest to highlight the many different people, places, and activities that are part of USAID water-related activities. We are looking for photos illustrating the breadth, scope, and positive impact of USAID’s efforts to improve water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) around the world, including development sectors such as public health, economic development, ecosystem conservation, and gender equality, just to name a few.

Please email with any questions. For more background information, read the contest announcement on Note: By submitting to the USAID #WaterSecureWorld photo contest you are agreeing to the terms outlined at the bottom of this announcement.


All photographs must be submitted no later than 12:00 a.m. EST (New York time),  March 30, 2018.

Submission Guidelines

Who Can Submit: This contest is open to all individuals and organizations, not just USAID and its partners.

How to Submit: You can send up to five photos as email attachments to, with the subject line “2018 Photo Contest.” If your photos are too large to send as attachments: Please upload them to Google Drive, Dropbox, or any other sharing site, and include links to the photos in your email.

Include the following information in the email for each photo submitted:

  • Name of photographer, email address, and organizational affiliation (if applicable)
  • Location: Please include as much detail as possible. Must at least include city and country.
  • Caption:  A brief description of who and/or what is in the photo and what is happening, in no more than 2–3 sentences (30 to 40 words).
  • Theme: Please select one or more of the following themes that your photo illustrates:
    • Safe drinking water
    • Sanitation
    • Hygiene
    • Water resource management
    • Water sector governance, finance, and institutions
    • Cross-cutting themes, such as:
      • WASH in emergencies or humanitarian assistance
      • WASH gender equality and empowerment
    • Other [theme must be described in the email]

For examples and ideas, check out WASH and Water Sector Themes on Flickr.

What to Submit: Photos must meet the following technical requirements:

  • Photos must each be original and unpublished.
  • Photos must be submitted as a JPG or PNG file.
  • Please send the highest resolution photo possible (at least 1 MB and 1600 pixels wide).
  • We will not accept a photo with an overlaid logo or text.
  • We will not accept a photo sent inside a Word document or PDF.

Winning Photos

Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: 1) clarity and relevance of the topic; 2) creativity; and 3) photographic quality. Preference will be given to photos that highlight WASH-related activities funded by USAID and its partners (information on relevant USAID activities must be included in the email).


The winning photos will be featured on and the official Global Waters Flickr page. Winners, along with other quality photo submissions, may be featured also on the water and sanitation pages, the @USAIDWater Twitter feed, and in our publications such as Water Currents, Global Waters on Medium, and USAID's annual water report. Photographs also may be used for other digital or printed outreach materials. All photos will be fully credited and used in a way that fairly represents the original context.


USAID has the right to reproduce your photo in any format, including print products, on the web, and in social media. Please make sure you read the disclaimer below for full details.

By submitting a photograph to this competition you:

  1. Declare that you or your organization own the copyright of the photograph and that it is your original work or that you are authorized to share these photos.
  2. Declare that you have permission to use the visual image [PDF, 40KB] of any identifiable individual in the photograph for entry into the competition and that the image may be published as stipulated in the photo contest rules.
  3. Agree that USAID will not be responsible for the infringement of any third party rights in the photograph, moral or otherwise, that may arise as a result of your actions or omissions and that you indemnify USAID 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 USAID use and in doing so, agree that USAID can use your photograph for the purposes of the competition and also for future reproduction on websites, literature, and any other materials at USAID’s discretion.