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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States

DigDeep (
Non-governmental organization (NGO)

    We believe closing the water access gap in the United States is an achievable goal. Our initiative takes a multi-pronged approach, understanding that water access will only be achieved through both grassroots initiatives, and intervention from federal, state, and Tribal governments. As an organization, we plan to expand our project locations into hotspots around the US, as well as improve the scalability and transparency of our work for local and regional organizations to be equipped to solve their own local gaps. We will continue to invest in research and the promotion of accurate and reliable data at all levels – both by advocating for every level of government to take responsibility, and to fill what we can through research and data gathering initiatives in the meantime. We commit to raising awareness and mobilizing organizations across the WASH space, government entities, and everyday citizens to understand and work to close the water access gap. This includes standing up a WASH sector in the US, based on the international space, to optimize best practices, pool resources, and create change.

    Expected Impact

    Our organization believes that these initiatives will help advance water access and water equity in the United States. 2.2 million individuals in the US currently lack access to running water or basic sanitation in their homes. We cannot claim to have achieved SDG6 when many communities in the US are currently being left behind. DigDeep exists to help close this water access gap - which holds major ramifications for other SDGs linked to health, economic prosperity and equality. Water is an intersectional human need that impacts the whole of our well-being. We believe these efforts can serve as a model for other high-income countries experiencing similar challenges, particularly within rural, low-income, and systemically marginalized communities.

    Additional information

    Our relentless pursuit, video detailing the water access gap issue in the US - and how water is life:

    Our approach and impact model:

    Featured media:

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6


    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all


    Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services


    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations


    Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water


    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally


    Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated


    Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality


    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    Change in water-use efficiency over time


    Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources


    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate


    Degree of integrated water resources management 


    Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation


    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time


    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

    Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan


    Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management


    Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management

    Name Description
    Conduct water projects that provide first-time water access to more than 5,000 households and expand our impact into 4 new locations in the US (2030).
    Uncover and accurately capture the extent of the gap in 5 regions in the US. (2030).
    Push 10 state governments in the US and the federal government to adopt HRWS legislation (2028).
    Develop an independent functioning collective to serve as the sector leader and unite a common voice for those most affected by the water access gap (2026).
    Financing (in USD)
    80-85% of DigDeep's organizational budget devoted to impact work, including on-the-ground projects to provide access to households, research and data projects to uncover the gap and its impacts, & policy and advocacy work to bring attention to government
    Staff / Technical expertise
    Filling and maintaining full-time positions among sector building, research, projects, and advocacy teams.
    Staff / Technical expertise
    Nearly 90 staff fully focused on all pillars of our organization
    No progress reports have been submitted. Please sign in and click here to submit one.
    Action Network
    water logo
    1. North America
    Other beneficiaries

    Tribal communities, rural communities, low-income communities, BIPOC communities

    More information
    United States of America
    United States of America
    Contact Information

    Kabir, Director of Policy & Coalitions