Stories: Water

  • Myanmar’s Inle Lake is just a small body of water, but this man is dedicating his life to saving it

    In the early morning hours on Myanmar’s Inle Lake the quiet is broken by small tourist boats rumbling across the water to catch some of the lake’s famous performing fishermen. The motorboats slow to an idle to watch as a father and his young son step onto the prows of their canoes, balance on one foot,...

  • The Draining of Lesotho

    Juliette Letotokoto, a recently widowed farmer, stands on her small plot of land on the outskirts of Lesotho's capital and takes stock of her crops. It's late May, and by now she'd typically have a rainbow of plants to harvest: cabbage, peppers, chilies, beetroot. But today the predominant color is pale brown, a hue found in the...

  • Water’s Worth

    A country has to sell what it's got. Lesotho always had more rain and snow than it knew what to do with. So Lesotho made a deal with its neighbor, South Africa, to buy the water. The country moved rivers and built one of the most impressive water projects in Africa to deliver it. Then the drought hit. ...

  • Was It Worth It for Lesotho to Sell Its Water to South Africa?

  • Voices From a Desert’s Drought

    Forty-five-year-old Luis Socarras leads me in the oppressive heat, along a sandy path towards La Completa’s village well. We weave through barren shrubs and cacti, and step into a clearing. Scrawny goats slurp thick, green water from a shallow pond. Luis tells me, “People think there isn’t life in Guajira’s desert, but they...

  • Thirsting for a Paris Deal in Timor-Leste

    Every morning in the sparsely populated region of Baguia, high in the mountains of Timor-Leste, women and children rise hours before dawn. They grab a couple of jugs and trek to the nearest spring, where they wait in line, in the dark. For water. They wait and wait, with dozens of others, to fetch just enough water for a day...

  • How Some Colombians Survive on Less Than One Liter of Water a Day

    Thousands of people are struggling to survive on less than a liter of water a day in La Guajira, Colombia. Guajira is home to the Wayuu people, Colombia’s largest indigenous population. But severe water scarcity is devestating Wayuu subsistence practices. Crops and livestock perished in a four-year drought. Jaguays (community water pods) evaporated, and...

  • Wayuu Communities Struggle to Survive Water Shortages in Colombia

    “Look at these puddles! This is fantastic!" my driver cheered, every time he slowed to navigate a tricky patch of mud. “We might even have to stop the car early, and walk!” I’d never seen a driver take so much delight in poor road conditions. But for Marcos Nuñez, every clumpy wet trench...

  • In Honduras, a Wellspring of New Tools to Tackle Drought

    Gumersindo Rodriguez has become accustomed to measuring his family's well-being in inches: of rainfall, of crop growth, and the height of his grandchildren. And by that gauge, the drought that’s afflicted his corner of Central America these past two years is the worst he’s seen. “Barbaric,” he calls it. Walking down the steep,...

  • These Women Bring Light and Clean Water to Their Community in Ghana

    A water dugout the size of a few football fields stands just outside the village of Kuruguvuhuyayili, in northern Ghana. People use the muddy water for cooking, cleaning, bathing and drinking--as do the livestock. The combination of standing water and a place where animals defecate is a health nightmare. But it’s not for the village located about 10...