Paraguay River, Cáceres, Mato Grosso, Brazil, 2015: The river is central to daily life in Cáceres, and Claudio and his family go there regularly to swim and play. But just a few miles away, the main sewage pipe pumps directly into the water, and fishermen search for an ever-decreasing supply of fish. Poor sanitation is a common issue in this region. Cáceres treats only 10% of its sewage – 30% below the national average. The Mayor of Cáceres has committed to protecting the water sources. He is calling on the community to work together to reduce the amount of pollution in the river. Mustafah Abdulaziz / WWF UK
Bewatoo, Tharparkar, Pakistan, 2013: Women pull water from a well in the Thar Desert, where temperatures hover at around 120°F (48-50°C) on summer days. With an extremely low water table and continuing drought, sometimes water must be hauled from a depth of 150-200 feet. “Women fall unconscious on their way to these dug wells,” says Marvi Bheel, 45, a resident of Bewatoo. The journey can take up to three hours. From the water-scarce regions in southern Ethiopia to the desert wells of Pakistan, it is women who are primarily responsible for gathering water. © WaterAid/ Mustafah Abdulaziz
“I believe the single biggest water issue is human beings,” American photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz told WaterAid earlier this year. He’s spent the last five years documenting our relationship with water, traveling to a total nine countries in search of the people at the heart of a global crisis.