WaterAid – Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019

Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019. WaterAid, March 19, 2019.

Some 4 billion people in the world live in physically water-scarce areas and 844 million don’t have access to clean water close to home. wateraid

The world’s water crisis is getting worse, yet globally we use six times as much water today as we did 100 years ago, driven by population growth and changes in diets and consumer habits.

This report reveals the countries where the largest populations live with physical water scarcity, how ballooning consumer demands jeopardize water access for the poorest and most marginalized people, and how making thoughtful choices as consumers can help ensure access to water for basic needs is prioritized – wherever you are in the world.

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On World Water Day, gender equality and empowerment require attention


On World Water Day, gender equality and empowerment require attention. Lancet Planetary Health, March 18, 2019. By Sheela S Sinharoy; Bethany A Caruso.

What would promotion of gender equality and empowerment in relation to water look like? At a minimum, it would necessitate a recognition of gender differences, as opposed to gender blindness.

This requires collection of improved gender data. At the global level, an opportunity exists to enable sex-disaggregated data collection through the WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, which is revising core questions for monitoring household water, sanitation, and hygiene.

This effort should include questions to assess differences in responsibilities for water-related tasks—including but not limited to drinking water—based on gender as well as on age, socioeconomic status, and other characteristics, such as caste, as part of an intersectional approach.



Launch of the World Water Development Report 2019

World Water Development Report 2019. UN Water, March 19, 2019.

The United Nations World Water Development Report, Leaving no one behind, launched 19 March 2019 during the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and in conjunction to the World Water Day, demonstrates how improvements in water resources management and access to water supply and sanitation services are essential to addressing various social and economic inequities, such that ‘no one is left behind’ when it comes to enjoying the multiple benefits and opportunities that water provides. WWD2019_News_UN-Waterwebsite_vs1_4Jan2019

Executive summary 1

Introduction 11
Section 1 – The state of the world’s water resources 13
Section 2 – Water supply, sanitation and hygiene 18
Section 3 – Socio-economic development indicators

Chapter 1 – The human rights to water and sanitation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 34

1.1 Introduction 35
1.2 The human rights to water and sanitation 36
1.3 Groups and individuals ‘left behind’ in terms of access to water and sanitation 38
1.4 Human rights-based approach to integrated water resources management (IWRM) 41
1.5 Links between the human rights to water and sanitation and other human rights

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Systems Thinking and WASH: Tools and case studies for a sustainable water supply

Systems Thinking and WASH: Tools and case studies for a sustainable water supply. Practical Action, February 2019.

Water supplies in developing countries fail at unacceptable rates. In an era of high technology and a global drive for sustainable water and sanitation (SDG6), we need to find solutions to the ‘wicked problems’ that characterize water for development programmes around the world. practicalaction

Systems Thinking and WASH introduces practitioners, researchers, programme managers and donors to the tools and approaches that have been most successful in this area. This book explores the different applications of systems thinking used by an interdisciplinary group of WASH researchers and practitioners.

With additional commentary from the field, each chapter helps us to imagine different ways to understand and work with communities, development agencies and governments to create a better world through more appropriate WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programming.

The book includes an annotated list of additional resources that anyone interested in non-linearity, complex adaptive systems, systems thinking, social network analysis or system dynamics will find useful as a practical guide to getting started.

This book is highly important reading for WASH programme managers, government and NGO staff and donor agencies interested in the application of systems thinking techniques.


Sarphati Sanitation Awards (SSA) 2019

Sarphati Sanitation Awards (SSA) 2019

World Waternet, Netherlands Water Partnership and Aqua for All, endorsed by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS), initiated the biennial Sarphati Sanitation Award in 2013 to honor the outstanding contribution of individuals or organizations to the global sanitation and public health challenge through entrepreneurship. Sarphati-awards-2019-avatarB-300x300

For the Sarphati Sanitation Awards (SSA) 2019 we call upon the next Sarphati – the entrepreneur and innovator who has forced a breakthrough for an integrated, collection, transport and (decentralized) treatment system of wastewater and human waste in urban settings.

This solution has a clear Sanitation Value Chain strategy, meeting the requirements on affordability/bankability, minimized water use, acceptability and user friendliness, scalability and re-use/recycling of materials.

The Sarphati Sanitation Award 2019 consists of two prizes:

  • Sarphati Sanitation Award for Promising Entrepreneur or consortium, focusing on groundbreaking entrepreneurial activities in the field of integrated sanitation systems in urban contexts as mentioned above .
  • Sarphati Sanitation Award for Life Time Achievement, acknowledging individuals who have dedicated a large part of their life to influence decision makers, policy makers and implementers to find sustainable, integrated urban solutions for people worldwide who suffer from inadequate sanitation service, create value out of what was hitherto regarded as waste and thereby improve health.

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Celebrating Gender Transformative Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Vietnam

Celebrating Gender Transformative Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Vietnam. by Elaine Mercer, IDS Blog, March 8, 2019.

Within the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector, gender issues are frequently reduced to the roles and experiences of women and within that often with a narrow focus on menstrual hygiene management. Although these issues are very important, many other central gender equality issues are missed or side-lined.

To celebrate International Women’s Day which focuses on gender balance this year, we are featuring innovative work in Vietnam by Women for Water in partnership with Thrive Networks/East Meets West.

In Vietnam, many women face challenges in accessing WASH services and facilities; eg lack of funds and information, exclusion from decision-making, poorly designed facilities along with restrictive gender norms.


Photo Credit: Thrive Networks/East Meets West – Nguyen Van Phuc (father, left); his son Tien Manh; and wife Kim Chi stand next to their newly constructed hygienic latrine behind their house in Long Hung commune, Chau Thanh district, Tien Giang province.

Overcoming barriers to women’s access to hygiene and water

In the video interview below, Hanh Nguyen Hong (Thrive Networks/East Meets West) talks about how the Women-Led Output Based Aid (WOBA) programme in Vietnam is overcoming these barriers by facilitating gender transformative WASH.

WOBA is implemented in partnership with the Vietnam Women’s Union. The Union is a fantastic and well-connected mobilising force as it has 17 million members across the country at all levels, including village level.

Read the complete article.

OPINION: If you’re safe from cholera, thank my dad, a plumber (and thank the ancient Romans)

OPINION: If you’re safe from cholera, thank my dad, a plumber (and thank the ancient Romans). by Lindsay Denny, USA Today, March 11, 2019.

I come from a family of plumbers, and we’ve heard our share of plumber’s crack jokes. But there’s nothing funny about sanitation in public health.

My father once told me that plumbers were the original public health professionals. Growing up, I never gave the sentiment much thought. Mostly, I just heard a lot of plumber’s crack jokes as a kid, and our family’s vacation photos were punctuated with unique toilets my dad came across on our travels. That’s because plumbing is our family business — quite literally.


The author and her father, Scott Denny, in Madrid, Spain, in 2016. (Photo: Family handout)

He and all of his brothers are plumbers, just like their father and uncle. Many of my cousins have worked for the family’s company at some point. Yet, even as I pursued a degree in global health, I never paused to consider the long-standing health impact of their work.

So I will never forget the look on my dad’s face when I told him that I had been hired to bring awareness to a newly recognized, massive gap in health care — the lack of clean water and sanitation, and by extension hygiene, inside tens of thousands of hospitals in developing countries.

Read the complete article.