CARE has supported water+ activities for over forty-five years with a current portfolio of more than 150 projects in 43 countries. Our approach to water+ activities reflects the organization’s breadth of experience and expertise. During the 1960s, CARE focused on the provision of water supply hardware to poor rural communities in the developing world. As CARE’s experience grew over the next thirty years, other components such as latrine construction, watershed protection, and health and hygiene education were gradually introduced. Most recently, the emphasis has been on building the capacity of local institutions (through working in partnerships with local NGOs and local governments), cost recovery, and a more integrated approach to water management, so that the stream of benefits and their impact can be sustained.

Although projects supported by CARE have been predominantly rural, CARE has undertaken an increasing number of urban projects since the early 1990s. These include water supply, drainage, on-site sanitation and sewer construction, and solid waste management.