Water sustains human life and is vital for socio-economic development. Adequate water, sanitation and hygiene improve health, empower communities – especially women and girls – and when managed sustainably, contribute to healthy ecosystems.
We support solutions that provide access to clean and affordable water and sanitation in parts of the world that lack basic infrastructure, with a strong focus on making a long-term impact through local engagement and education. On a broader level, we also support initiatives that address systemic change through stronger water policy and improved natural stewardship. A selection of our projects is profiled below.
Improved access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in rural settings
Water For People, Guatemala
Water For People is a global non-profit organisation operating in nine countries across Africa, the Americas and Asia. It focuses on technical capacity for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) services to communities, emphasising long-term improvements and making clean water a part of everyday lives.
Supported by the Pictet Group Foundation, Water For People has made a significant impact in Guatemala, specifically in the Quiché region, inhabited predominantly by indigenous Mayans. The organisation has equipped schools with bathrooms appropriately sized for children, installed handwashing stations in classrooms and launched an education programme stressing the importance of clean drinking water and sanitation, including the education of young girls on menstrual hygiene management.
Water For People adopts a district-centred approach to bring WASH services to local communities and collaborates with authorities to ensure political will, financing and prioritisation of the WASH sector. Its work is guided by the belief that access to clean water is a universal right, giving all individuals the ability to thrive.
When we take care of water and infrastructure in communities, we take care of the generations to come.
— Marlén Scarleth Mayari Tobar Saquic, Preschool Teacher at Agua Caliente school, Guatemala
Africa Water Solutions, Uganda
Africa Water Solutions is an organisation operating in Uganda that addresses water and sanitation challenges to improve the lives of people in rural communities. In Uganda, where 83% of the rural population lack access to safe drinking water, the issue is particularly acute and a cause of problems such as diarrheal infections and absenteeism from school and work.
The organisation’s intervention model guides families towards valued practices such as solutions for cleaner water, infrastructure management and rainwater harvesting. In addition, it implements school hygiene programmes and improves access to water and sanitation in health centres.
Africa Water Solutions involves community members to identify challenges and propose solutions. With support from the Pictet Group Foundation, it will have positively impacted 4,200 households, six schools and three health centres by November 2023.
Our community-led process ensures effective interventions and helps identify leaders who champion long-term WASH improvements.
Healthy rivers and ecosystems
WWF: Rivers of Food, Global
WWF is a global conservation organisation dedicated to building a sustainable future where people live in harmony with nature by reversing the loss of biodiversity and tackling the climate crisis.
Freshwater ecosystems are our life support systems, but they are the most threatened. The world has suffered an 83% loss in populations of freshwater species since 1970, with severe consequences for both nature and human communities. The Rivers of Food project, supported by the Pictet Group Foundation, aims to comprehensively study the connections between rivers and global food production, ensuring that decision-makers consider the value of healthy rivers in their choices.
The research findings are expected to influence the scientific community, encourage further research on river systems use and shape global policy. It emphasises the urgent need to invest in protecting and restoring freshwater systems to feed the world’s growing population, which is estimated to reach nine billion people by 2050.
Rivers are central to feeding the world… yet protecting and restoring their health and resilience is currently not even on the agenda of discussions about global food systems.
— Stuart Orr, WWF’s Global Freshwater Lead
Water security and sound management of water resources
Ceres – Valuing Water Finance Initiative, Global
Ceres is a non-profit sustainability organisation working globally with businesses, investors, policymakers and regulators to find solutions for some of the planet’s greatest sustainability challenges.
The water crisis is now a pressing reality – the Water Resources Institute has warned that 56% of global water demand by 2030 is in danger of not being met, making water scarcity a global priority.
The Pictet Group Foundation began supporting Ceres in 2021, focusing on building a business case to address water risk and guiding investors to engage with high-water footprint companies.
The result was the Valuing Water Finance Initiative, launched in August 2022. Pictet helped shape the strategy of the initiative, while Ceres experts provided benchmark analyses of companies' water stewardship and ideas for productive engagement. The goal is to foster a global culture of water stewardship in the private sector – essential for our planet's future.
Ceres needs more investors to come to the table to push companies to act on water risk.
About the Foundation
Pictet Group Foundation
Route des Acacias 60
1211 Geneva 73
The Pictet Group Foundation is a grant making foundation established by the Managing Partners of Pictet to pursue our long-term tradition of social engagement and environmental commitment.