Clean Water Doesn't Stay Clean

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Missiographic water

What are the barriers that are keeping people from experiencing clean water as God intended them to? Well, it starts with access to water itself but doesn't end there. This Missiographic is exploring the importance of Sanitation and Hygiene in the quest to help the people of the world live healthy and whole lives. This is a key part of how God will minister to the lost and bring them to Him.


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Engaging through Prayer

Dear God, we desire the people of the world to have access to water that brings life and health. But so many today don't have clean water at all or have water but don't have the training and tools to use it wisely. Be with them today. Help them to see that you are the provider of all water and that their hope for health and well being is found as you bring awareness and insight to them. AMEN


Personal Reflection

What habits do you have trouble breaking? Each of us has multiple habits that we wish we could kick. Well, the same is true with sanitation and hygiene around the world. Even if someone does have a clean water source, if they have unclean or unhealthy habits regarding the use of that water, they are still in grave danger. Sometimes it is easy to judge the habits of others while ignoring our own. Recognize that much of the water-borne illness is related to lack of education that produces bad habits and patterns. Identify a habit in your life that needs kicked and as you pray about it, pray for those who are struggling to build healthy lifestyles as they learn about sanitation and hygiene.

Engaging the Church

For last year's World Water Day infographic we focused on why Water Isn't a Natural Resource. In that Missiographic we highlighted the stewardship of water itself. This year the focus is on what happens once the water leaves the faucet. If your church is engaged in providing clean water to people around the world, are you stopping your work at the faucet? As you will read, much of the illness and disease is not stopped by simply having clean water. Sanitation and hygiene are critical to a person's well-being. Are you educating those in your church about the whole process of providing health through water? What can your congregation learn as they seek to think holistically about providing clean water along with training in sanitation and hygiene? Are there areas of holistic thinking that need to permeate your church where water ministry can be a helpful example?


Organizational Application

It's much easier to fund digging wells than it is to fund education in sanitation and hygiene. One is much more tangible and photogenic than the other. How is your ministry handling the importance of both? Are you educating the Church in the country where you raise funds? Are you connecting these things or have the funding models of water ministry kept your ministries fragmented? As you seek to serve the whole person, what are you learning right now related to the integration of ministry? What might God want you to do differently to be more integrated in your approach?




The emphasis on "WASH = Water Access, Sanitation, Hygiene" came out of the UN Millennial Development Goals; in 2002, sanitation was linked with the clean water goal.


WASH references (#2-7) based on WASH: A High Value Kingdom Investment, June 2014 report,


Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation, WHO/UNICEF joint monitoring report 2012


WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation, Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation (2014), 8, available at


UNICEF Division of Policy and Strategy, Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, Progress Report (2013), 25, available at


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis, available at pp 45-47.


Schuster-Wallace et al., Safe Water as the Key to Global Health, United Nations University (UNU-INWEH) (2008),  available at

and Guy Hutton, Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage (WHO: 2012), available at


UN Water, The UN World Water Development Report 3: Water in a Changing World (UN Water: 2009), 8, available at


Lorna Fewtrell, Rachel B Kaufmann, David Kay, Wayne Enanoria, Laurence Haller and Jr, John M Colford, 2005. “Water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions to reduce diarrhoea in less developed countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” The Lancet Infectious Diseases Vol. 5, Iss. 1 (Jan 2005): 48.


Water Missions International training resources


World Vision Report


Water Missions International Report

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