748 million people in the world lack access to an improved source of drinking water and 2.5 billion people live without basic sanitation facilities.

Stealing, limiting, disrupting or interfering local communities access to water, poor water management, unsustainable farming have one thing in common: these are act of WaterGrabbing.

By WaterGrabbing we define the lack of water sovereignty and the limitation of open and fair access to water that lead to malnutrition, health and hygiene problems, insufficient water for small scale farming, leading to conflict and migrations.

The high-quality journalism project look at four examples that involves local communities and large scale project, such as dam, military reserves, privatization project, poor water management in agriculture and climate change resilience.

We want to both show positive and negatives projects and approaches to open a candid debate about the issue and show that water management can be done in a socially and environmentally sustainable way. This will both involve private, public and cooperation projects.

We will look into four countries.

  • South Africa. Mining, energy and water. Why the country is one of the most unsustainable 
  • Africa: Best practices for water resilience and the issue of dams. How can be done in a sustainable way? What can be done to improve project management? How to limit #Watergrabbing?
  • South-east Asia: Dams are escalating tension in the region
  • Palestine/Israel. How conflict relates to the right to water

A new global project that requires a carefully crafted cross platform strategy, an “opera totale”. WaterGrabbing will be composed of

multimedia publishing strategy online and print,

  • a Watergrabbing Map Atlas to depict global data and scenario,
  • a VR experience (with short 360° video and drone video, to immerse reader in the context (river, a dam, agricultural, field a village),
  • a print photo exhibition (that can be showcase in multiple location, starting sept. 2017
  • a symbolic event to promote the stories 


Related videos

Photo gallery


Project information

  • Locations
    Ethiopia, South Africa, Israel, Cambodia
  • Duration
    6 months
  • Release date
    March 2017
  • Budget
    € 21000
  • Round