Water & Sanitation

About Water and Environment


Increasing access to water is essential, however ensuring that water accessed is safe for consumption is just as critical. Water quality still remains a serious challenge since improved drinking water may not be free of microbiological contamination. Chemical contamination (including arsenic, fluorides, nitrates, etc.) is increasing in some countries and very few countries have national water quality monitoring services in place. 

CRS knows the importance of the environment on adequate water supply. Our activities and programming increase environmental protection and productivity. We enable communities to prepare, mitigate and respond better to disasters.



  • Capacity development: Our sustainable water supply and sanitation services keep environmental concerns and issues at the forefront of our work. In addition, we support development of local government, communities and small entrepreneurs to provide, repair and rehabilitate services in a manner that’s best for the community and the environment.

  • Integrated programming: CRS continues to pursue integrated programs that include watershed management, comprehensive community management of water and natural resources, climate change adaptation and mitigation,  and soil and water protection. Our work takes into account water conservation and erosion and flood control practices.

  • Ecological sanitation projects: CRS supports successful ecological sanitation projects in Africa by the promotion of the Arborloo. This is a closed loop system that allows waste to be used as a fertilizer once it is composted. Soil and ash are added to the pit after use and when nearly full, the pit is filled with good topsoil and a fruit or shade tree seedling is planted. A new pit is dug and the slab and structure are moved to the new site. In the past few years, with CRS support, more than 100,000 toilets have now been built in rural areas of Africa including Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, serving more than half a million people. 

  • Partnerships: CRS continues to seek partners interested in a better understanding of integrated approaches and in the development of replicable programs that serve the poorest communities.