Sustainable Systems in Water

Sustainable Systems

The CARE Water+ Team believes in helping to establish sustainable WASH systems. This does not mean that CARE comes in and implements projects. Instead, CARE assists with integrating WASH into existing systems. In order to do so, we work closely with local and national governments, local organizations, and communities. CARE has a long history of local partnerships to ensure that the work we do is in line with government plans and community priorities. However, more and more we recognize that intentions for sustainability are not enough and that sustainability is best achieved through concrete, actionable steps, taken with local partners. The WASH sector (see Sanitation and Water for All Collaborative Behaviors and The Agenda for Change) asserts that sustainable WASH follows four major principles. The majority of CARE’s water+ work, which occurs in collaboration with various partners across 40+ countries, addresses 2-4 of the below principles:

  • Enhance government leadership of sector planning processes
  • Strengthen and use country systems
  • Use one information and mutual accountability platform
  • Build sustainable water and sanitation sector financing strategies

By integrating these four criteria into our programs, the Water+ Team recognizes the role of the private sector in maintaining sustainable WASH systems. Whether through pump menders, water treatment products, finance institutions or sanitation suppliers, the private sector should be included in maintaining WASH infrastructure.

In addition to applying these four criteria to our programs, we also strongly believe that sustainability of WASH programs will come from considerations and transformative programming in terms of CARE’s focus areas: Gender and Equity.


Back to Water+

Water+ and Gender Transformation

Water+ and gender is more than just the benefits of WASH infrastructure for women and girls. It is about transforming roles in their homes and in the community for the better.

Policy & Advocacy

The CARE Water+ team sees local and national government as partners – in prioritization, research and policy-making. 

Water Smart Agriculture (WaSA)

Water Smart Agriculture (WaSA) is a set of approaches where we work with smallholder farmers (focusing on women) to increase yields while using water wisely.


Water, sanitation and hygiene is central to what our programs do. We invite you to learn more about our WASH approach.