Investing in Clean Water Globally

Lack of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene contributes significantly to the global burden of disease.   

To combat unsafe water, there are two broad categories of water systems, centralized and decentralized. 


Centralized systems provide water delivery and sanitation infrastructure and include a central water treatment facility with safe, piped water usually going directly into households.  This reduces the time and burden of water collection but may be expensive.   


Decentralized systems are at household or community levels and involve village or point-of-use chemical or solar treatments and safe water storage.  These systems provide low-cost solutions and reduce illness. According to research, decentralized water systems have proven incredibly effective in providing clean water to communities.  

Even though centralized water systems provide the safest and easiest delivery of water to the masses there has been a move away from centralized systems globally due to factors like financing, infrastructure, location constraints, and ongoing maintenance costs. 

This creates additional problems for resource-strapped and marginalized communities worldwide, creating the need for decentralized solutions. 

This is why Esperanca invests in both types of clean water projects. 

Photo from Esperança’s clean water initiatives in Nicaragua

Esperança’s approach to creating new water systems is unique in that it partners with local organizations around the world to create centralized and decentralized water systems that prevent deadly water-borne diseases. 

Centralized and decentralized systems both have challenges, as there are still ongoing system upkeep and local ownership needs. 

Photo from Esperança’s clean water initiatives in Nicaragua

This is why Esperança focuses on the long-term and builds sustainability into its programming. Esperança trains local partners on how to continue running and repairing water systems after the initial system is built, so clear water can keep flowing to the communities Esperança serves. 

For additional water resources, or to learn more and get involved with Esperança’s international water programs and projects, please reach out to Esperança’s Program Director, Christina Araiza: [email protected] 



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