Skip to Content
Bank of America Coronavirus Resource Center See details

The Global Fight for Water

As the Earth’s supply continues to drain, the impact of the global water crisis grows more severe. Here’s a look at the numbers behind the problem.

From space, Earth looks like it has so much water that it’s called the blue planet. But the reality is that much of that water is unfit for use by farmers, businesses and households around the globe. The salt water in our vast oceans is, of course, undrinkable and unsuitable for agriculture. Only a small fraction of earth’s water is fresh, in rivers, lakes, streams and aquifers. And only a fraction of that is clean and safe enough for human consumption — and near the populations that need it. Exacerbating the problems is crumbling water-related infrastructure around the world that both wastes water and jeopardizes its safety. What elevates this from a series of problems to a crisis is the massive population growth in areas of the globe where water supplies are under the most pressure.

The growing stress sets the stage for a massive build-out of the global water infrastructure over the next decade and beyond. Here’s a look at what’s threatening the planet’s water and the impact a dwindling supply could have.

Financing to find a solution

Finding an effective solution to the global water crisis and other critical issues will require a unified effort on all fronts — governments and philanthropy alone aren’t enough. The public, private and nonprofit sectors must work together to make an impact. Financial institutions, in particular, play an essential role by providing capital to organizations and high-impact projects that have the power to bring change.

As part of its commitment to provide $125 billion in financing to clean energy and sustainability projects by 2025, Bank of America provided a $5 million interest-free loan to WaterEquity’s WaterCredit Investment Fund 3 (WCIF3), a microfinance solution launched by to give socially-conscious investors the opportunity to fund projects that change lives. The $50 million fund is projected to provide safe water and sanitation services to at least 4.6 million people in parts of Asia within seven years.

Elsewhere in the developing world, Bank of America has provided a $100 million grant to the Green-Blue Water Coalition, an alliance of Brazilian companies organized by The Nature Conservancy to protect critical watersheds throughout the country, and $1.75 million in funding for the GivePower Foundation, which has built solar-powered desalination systems for communities in need, including the village of Kiunga in Kenya.

Learn more about how Bank of America is helping protect watersheds and financing microloans for safe drinking water at

Related Insights