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Every year, World Water Day tackles the clean water crisis by raising awareness and inspiring action to tackle the clean water crisis. Over 2.2 billion people worldwide live without access to safely managed drinking water, and in 2015 the United Nations responded with the development and support of Sustainable Development Goal #6: clean water and sanitation. 

Here at Sawyer, this is why we do what we do.

We partner with over 140 charities across 80 countries to combat the clean water crisis at the source through education, empowerment, and sustainably safe drinking water. 

Water and Conflict

As a dominating force for humanity, water often plays a role during conflict. For instance: 

1. Water can be a trigger when the interests of different water users, including States and provinces, clash and are perceived as irreconcilable, or when water quantity and/or quality decreases, which may affect human- and ecosystem health. 

2. Water can be a weapon during armed conflict as a means to gain or maintain control over territory and populations or as a means to pressurize opponent groups. 

3. Water can be a casualty of conflict when water resources, water systems or utility employees are intentional or incidental casualties or targets of violence. Attacks on civilian infrastructure, including water systems, pose serious health risks and violate international humanitarian law. 

Water for Peace Works on Many Levels

Peaceful cooperation around water can flow into peaceful cooperation in all sectors. This means that non-discrimination and equality in ensuring access to water and sanitation can have a positive ripple effect across society. 

At the community level, water can unite different water users or ‘rightsholders’ – often from different ethnicities or religious groups – around a common cause and provide an entry point for dialogue, reconciliation and peacebuilding. 

At the national level, the need to cooperate across different water-using sectors might provide a starting point for coordination across interests. 

At the transboundary level, cooperation over shared water resources and ‘hydrodiplomacy’ can be a starting point for communication and broader cooperation, including beyond water resources. 

In post-conflict situations, water cooperation plays a pivotal role in rebuilding trust and fostering long-term stability, offering a tangible foundation for collaboration and mutual understanding.

A Solvable Crisis with a Sustainable Solution

The clean water crisis is a solvable one. Sawyer’s filters enable families and communities to confidently and sustainably reap the benefits of clean water - overall community health, economic opportunities, education access, and more - for over a decade. Training and maintenance programs (often led by locals), quality materials, durability, and thorough follow-ups ensure the process is as sustainable and effective as possible. 

What now? 

In general, science and education are essential, as they allow us to share understanding and solutions to perfect processes and make the biggest impact possible. That’s why, here at Sawyer, our best practices are supported by data and research. 

  • In Liberia, diarrhea rates dropped from 35% in homes to 1.5%
  • Fijian families recapture $635 FJD per year from purchased water savings, medical savings, and more after they receive a Sawyer Bucket Filter System.
  • Homes in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya showed a decrease in diarrhea rates from 54% to 2.2%. 

Educating yourself and those around you about water’s role in peace, stability, social equity, and prosperity, is crucial to building the awareness and skills that will ensure a more sustainable and peaceful world is created with water at its core. 

Simply by purchasing a Sawyer Product, you’re contributing to clean water for all. Over 90% of our profits support this important work. By working together to balance everyone’s human rights and needs, water can be a stabilizing force and a catalyst for sustainable development.

Learn More

2024 UN World Water Development Report, released on World Water Day

UN Water Facts 

World Water Day Fact Sheet

Sawyer International 


March 22, 2024

Written by
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Katie Houston

Katie AKA Oats is a solo thru-hiker with over 3,000 miles under her belt, making her a passionate conduit for culture, lingo, and other backcountry knowledge. Through her work, she is able to educate audiences on good trail ethics and strive for an outdoor community where everyone feels like they belong. Check out her adventures with Thru the husky on her website and Instagram.

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