For decades, poor fishing and farming communities in southern El Salvador have paid the price for the electricity generated by one of the country's five dams, as constant and sometimes extreme rains cause the reservoir to release water that ends up flooding the low-lying area where the families live.
Celebrated annually on the 19th of November, World Toilet Day aims to inspire concerted efforts in addressing the pressing global sanitation crisis, which currently leaves approximately 3.5 billion people without access to safely managed sanitation.
Neither the central government nor most of El Salvador's 262 municipalities have had the capacity to install enough wastewater treatment plants to prevent it from being discharged directly into the environment.
A return to nature is the main solution being promoted by communities and municipalities to avoid the water shortage that threatens to leave Santiago, the capital of Chile, home to more than 40 percent of the 19.5 million inhabitants of this South American country, without water.
The lack of water is so severe in Peru's highlands that farming families are forced to sell their livestock because they cannot feed them. "There is no grass or fodder to feed them," says Fermina Quispe, a Quechua farmer from a rural community located at 4,200 meters above sea level.
Insufficient wastewater treatment systems in El Salvador have taken a toll on the environment and the health of the population for decades, but some municipalities are putting more attention on processing their liquid waste.
The defense of the right to water led Gema Pacheco to become involved in environmental struggles in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, an area threatened by drought, land degradation, megaprojects, mining and deforestation.
Houses with balconies facing the street or the surrounding hills, when they are not hidden behind high walls, reflect a neighborhood where people live on the shore of a lagoon but reject the landscape it offers.
Water is essential for life on Earth.
It makes up 50% of our human bodies.
It covers about 70% of the planet’s surface.
Combining technologies and innovations to take advantage of solar, wind, hydro and biomass potential has made the Finca del Medio farm an example in Cuba in the use of clean energies, which are the basis of its agroecological and environmental sanitation practices.
Nearly 700,000 people have migrated internally in Peru due to the effects of climate change. This mass displacement is a clear problem in this South American country, one of the most vulnerable to the global climate crisis due to its biodiversity, geography and 28 different types of climates.
The reuse of treated wastewater in vulnerable rural areas of Chile's arid north is emerging as a new resource for the inhabitants of this long, narrow South American country.
Sadiq Dar, 68, is surprised how the heavy siltation of Wular Lake has turned many of its areas into land masses. “When we were growing up, we would only see water in this lake. Now, we see cattle grazing in it while a large portion is also being used by children for playing cricket,” he tells IPS.
In the wake of harsh climate change and erratic weather conditions, women and girls are most affected. They often walk miles to collect fresh water which makes them vulnerable to rape and other crimes and infringement of their rights. This podcast is highlighting simple water solutions for women and girls.
Due to insufficient pressure water does not make it up to Elliot Escobar's house in the Mexican municipality of Matías Romero, where he lives on the second floor, so he pipes it up with a hose from his sister's home, located on the first floor of the house shared by the two families.
The Colorado river basin has recently been wracked by an extended drought which brought to the fore major concerns regarding hydroelectricity production. Up on the Colorado sits the iconic Hoover Dam
, which transforms water into enough electricity to power 1.3 million people in Nevada, Arizona and California.
A new technology that has arrived in rural villages in El Salvador makes it possible for small farming families to generate biogas with their feces and use it for cooking - something that at first sounded to them like science fiction and also a bit smelly.
Living without water in a desert area is part of the daily life of Ortensia Tserem, a member of the indigenous Wampis people from the Amazon rainforest of northeastern Peru, who came three years ago to the outskirts of the coastal city of Ica with the dream of better economic opportunities for her family.
Zé Pequeno cried when he learned that the heirloom seeds he had inherited from his father were contaminated by the transgenic corn his neighbor had brought from the south. Fortunately, he was able to salvage the native seeds because he had shared them with other neighbors.
The role of water in conflicts is changing, with more attacks against environmental and civilian infrastructure. Dr Martina Klimes of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) recently held a lecture describing the shifting security landscape and how water can be both a weapon and a victim of war – and sometimes a tool for peace.
"The rainwater tanks are the best invention in the world for us," said Maria de Lourdes Feitosa, 46, who recalls the deadly droughts of the past in Brazil's semiarid Northeast region.