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A group of kids wearing red garments hold out their hands underneath a spout of water. The device will help improve water sanitation and hygiene.

Water+ is about more than just handwashing and clean drinking water. Water+ is about linking water to other activities so that we can make the biggest impact possible.

It is about water for agriculture, for livelihoods, for nutrition, for keeping girls in schools, for helping women to be leaders, for preventing disease outbreaks, and more. Water+ helps us achieve more with less and respond to the complicated needs of the people we work with.

Water+ approaches mean that we work with others whenever possible. We work with national and local governments, with communities and the private sector. Water+ means that we do not just install wells, build latrines and promote soap, but we work on making sure that water and sanitation services have good governance, environmental sustainability and plans for financing and maintenance. We look at improving the connections between water and gender, nutrition, health, agriculture and education.



people in 67 countries directly benefited from CARE's Water+ work in 2020

Highlighted Water+ Programs

She’s SMART: Water Smart Agriculture Program

Working with women farmers in Mali, Malawi, and Ghana, the She’s SMART program helps women grow more food by using Water Smart Agriculture.

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Nutrition and Hygiene

CARE’s Nutrition and Hygiene project in Mali integrated nutrition; water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); and agriculture in the regions of Mopti, Ségou, and Koulikoro to help women and children improve their health and nutrition.

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School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene plus Community Impact (SWASH+)

The School Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene plus Community Impact project was an action‐research and advocacy project focusing on increasing the scale, impact, and sustainability of school water, sanitation, and hygiene (SWASH) programming in Kenya.

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Rural Access to New Opportunities in WASH (RANO-WASH)

RANO-WASH works to help communities in rural Madagascar create solutions for sustainable and equitable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) systems so people can live healthier lives and preserve the environment.

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CARE’s Glaciares+ project works with people and communities so they can adapt to climate change, reduce the risks from melting glaciers, and identify opportunities to improve water resources management in the basins of the Santa River in Ancash, the Vilcanota-Urubamba River in Cusco, and the Cañete River in Lima, Peru.

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Strengthening Systems

CARE commits to sustainable water services that benefit people for years to come. A key component of this commitment is reinforcing the local system – the people, structures, and policies that are fundamental to sustaining those services. CARE works with government, private sector, and other partners at the community, regional, and national level to strengthen collective capacity for planning, finance, monitoring, and management. We work with people and institutions to think about how they make sure they have the skills and resources to manage, maintain, and pay for a continued supply of safe water and sanitation over time.

Water Smart Agriculture

Water Smart Agriculture (WaSA) focuses on making sure people have water not just to drink, but also to grow food. To do that, we look at how to make the soil healthier so it can hold more water. We also look at rainwater harvesting, re-using wastewater, and supporting small-scale irrigation. WaSA’s aim is to improve the capacity of (mostly women) farmers, to increase food production and be more food-and water secure by adopting WaSA technologies and practices.

Water Conservation and Climate Resilience

Threats to water security come from many places, including climate change, economic insecurity, social inequality, and countless others. That’s why in addition to water, sanitation, and hygiene, we embed our Water+ work within CARE’s programming on food systems and climate change adaptation. Our focus is to protect the watersheds and water resources that sustain communities, including their food and livelihoods, in the long term. From setting up rainwater harvesting systems to installing new water monitoring technologies, we use both time-tested and innovative solutions to conserve water in the face of varied and unpredictable threats.

A girl pours water from a bucket attached to a well into water jugs.
Millions of people in Yemen don’t have access to clean water, and many water sources have been destroyed. CARE helps by repairing old water sources and building new ones. These girls pour water from the well in Lahj, Halmeen, into their cans. Photo credit: CARE / Eman Al-Awami

WASH in Emergencies

Our team works closely with the Emergency WASH team delivering disaster affected populations with timely and effective access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Our programs support women’s dignity and safety in emergencies, help women empower themselves and help women recover from emergencies stronger and safer. We design emergency response to think not just about immediate needs, but also about how to build longer-term solutions.