Water Integrity in Pictures: wastewater management

The best photos from the 2016 photo competition

The 2016 WIN photo competition explored how corruption and malpractice affect water and wastewater management.

The winning photos very clearly show how poor wastewater governance affects our lives and ecosystems. They highlight the urgent need for integrity in wastewater management.

WIN received 194 breathtaking entries in total! Many thanks to all people who submitted an entry. The selection process was very difficult.


Check out the Top 10 images below:


1st Place – SUDIPTO DAS


The river with white scars

Hindu women perform their morning ritual in the highly polluted Yamuna River, which is full of froth on the outskirts of Delhi in India. The froth is caused by the daily discharge of millions of litres of toxic waste into the Yamuna river from Delhi through 25 drains. A 2016 study in the International Journal of Engineering Sciences and Research Technology concluded that even expensive water treatment plants are incapable of treating the polluted water, and that the water is unfit for any purpose. Close to ‘dead’, the Yamuna river in Delhi sees no signs of healing.


2nd Place – DAVID BEDOYA


Waste in the Titicaca

A family travels on Lake Titicaca through waste coming from the city of Puno. Poor management of wastewater means thousands of waste items float in the lake.




Fishing in polluted water

Water pollution affects and kills all forms of wildlife. Trash and plastics that remain in the water for a long time are especially deadly. They can cause a blockage in the digestive system of fish who eat it, mistaking it for food. This photograph was taken at Garhbeta, Dist. West Midnapore, State – WB, India.



The rest of the Top 10


Photo by Anand Patel – Water in daily life

This is the Hamir sir lake of Bhuj Gujarat where people discard waste, ladies wash cloth, and even buffaloes stay in this water and pollute it.



Photo by Yuan Adriles

Residents skinning fish at riverside in Jakarta, Indonesia, on February 11, 2016. Domestic waste, at 80 percent, remains the top contributor to water pollution in Indonesia. Between water, air and land pollution, the most worrisome threat turns out to be water pollution. According to the Indonesian Environmental Status report published in June by the Ministry, 82 percent of the 52 rivers surveyed are polluted with domestic and industrial waste. The problem is exacerbated by overuse of water and bad spatial planning.



Photo by Mohammed Muhaisen

Locals ride a donkey cart in the Zaitoun neighborhood, eastern Gaza city. This district’s street is sunken in sewage water, which is flowing because of a power shortage. Power is needed to operate the pumps.



Photo by Mahfuzul Hasan Bhuiyan

Tannery worker washing away tannery waste in the Buriganga river in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Hazaribagh, Dhaka’s leather processing zone, is in the middle of one of the most densely populated residential neighborhoods. About 194 leather processing industries operate here and freely dump untreated toxic waste directly into the low-lying areas, rivers, and natural canals. The pollution is seriously affecting the lives of thousands of people, bringing the area to the brink of an environmental disaster.



Photo by MD. Khalid Shawon – Pollution and the dying river

The river is dying. In the dump/garbage land a boy found some balloons and is playing.



Photo by Leandro Couri

Toxic mud from the ruptured dam of Fundão of the Samarco mining company reaches the sea of Espírito Santo, after sweeping the entire length of the River Doce, killing fish and much of the vegetation of the riparian forest. The image, an allusion to the Brazilian flag, shows the mud mixing with the sea water at the beach of Regency, to which access was prohibited for 8 months.



Photo by MD. Rafayat Haque Khan – Death of a river

Due to sewage and industrial waste, water has become totally polluted in the river. As a result, drinking water is very scare in that area.


A big thanks to our jury members for their contributions: Magdalena Mis, Frederick Mugira, Grit Martinez, Alex Macbeth and Miranda Mens.


Congratulations to all winners!


See previous photo competition winners:

WIN photo competition 2009: the impact of corruption in the water sector
WIN photo competition 2011: urban water
WIN photo competition 2012: water for food
WIN photo competition 2013: cooperation in water


Better luck next time? Stay tuned for the 2017 Photo Competition opportunity, which we will announce later this year!

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