There are few things more crucial in our lives than clean water. Having access to clean water really isn’t something that’s optional, or that’s just nice to have. It’s a vital necessity that ensures the health and safety of the people who drink it. If you can turn on the tap and fill your Nalgene bottle with crisp, clean water in seconds, then you’re one of the lucky ones. Clean water at your fingertips is a beautiful thing, and despite how much we all need it, not everyone has access to it.
But there’s good news: many people and organizations are taking clean water efforts into their own hands, and are launching water recycling and sustainability projects. The people behind these projects are doing some truly incredible work, and are making real strides when it comes to improving access to clean water.
Let’s dive into the state of clean water today, and some inspiring clean water projects which are making a real difference.
When Clean Water Isn’t Just a Sip Away
Whether you’re a toddler or an Olympic athlete, staying hydrated is absolutely essential to human health. But not everyone in the world has regular access to clean water.
The World Health Organization estimates that while 74% of people in the world use safe drinking water regularly, the rest do not. Research from the WHO also breaks down some of the details: about 2 billion people do not use safely managed water services. This means they might have to travel 30 minutes or more to clean water, or they might drink from unprotected sources, such as springs and lakes.
What exactly happens when we don’t have access to clean drinking water? Unsafe water sources can be riddled with bacteria, can transmit diseases, and can present significant health risks to the people drinking it. The unfortunate truth is that hundreds of thousands of people die every year from illnesses transmitted through unsafe drinking water, including many children.
That’s why clean water projects are absolutely critical. When people, governments, and organizations help create access to clean water, they don’t only offer ease and comfort: they help save lives.
10 Clean Water Projects We Are Inspired By
In the wake of the state of clean water around the globe, many individuals, non-profits, governments, and other types of organizations have risen to the occasion, and have developed their own incredible clean water projects.
Here’s our list of 10 clean water projects that we are inspired by, and a bit about the groups behind them.
West Basin Municipal Water District
This California municipality secured $3.79 million in funding for two of its water projects. These projects will install thousands of feet of pipeline to help bring recycled water, which is clean and reliable, to area middle schools and a park. These projects will also prevent about 40 million gallons of treated sewer water from being sent into the Pacific Ocean each year.
Charity Water has been on a mission to help provide basic access to clean and safe drinking water since 2006. How exactly do they do that? They partner with local organizations in places across Africa, South America, and Asia to create access to water. These projects include digging new wells, rehabbing pipe systems and taps, and creating new water points.
Even students are making waves when it comes to clean water projects. Take Martin Leet and Leah Voytovich, for example. These two University of Pennsylvania students won a grant to fund Maji, their nonprofit that helps refugee initiatives in Uganda. Maji has already completed several community initiatives, including the construction of a solar-powered water tank for the Olua I community. Their project also addresses other challenges in Uganda, such as supply chain issues.
Planet Water Foundation
Planet Water Foundation is working hard to bring clean water to those in need. It’s deploying 28 different water systems across the world. Planet Water Foundation’s 28 AquaTower projects will bring clean water across Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, and Vietnam.
Their technology makes water safe and drinkable by removing bacteria and other contaminants, so people can have clear, delicious clean drinking water. And that’s not all: this project will also provide schools with sanitation infrastructure.
Pure Water Oceanside
This San Diego project is considered a first of its kind in the area, and it will provide 20% of the water supply to the city of Oceanside. It’s a potable water reuse project, which will purify recycled water, in order to supply an abundance of clean water to homes and businesses.
This $70 million clean water project is tech savvy, and uses processes like ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, and advanced oxidation. Ultimately, it will provide the city of Oceanside with 3-5 million gallons of clean, recycled water per day.
Pure Water for the World
Pure Water for the World is another great organization that partners with “rural and underserved communities,” to create safe water solutions. They don’t just provide clean water, they also have sanitation and hygiene education and training programs.
Pure Water For The World says it’s reached more than 750,000 people in 200 communities across the world. The best part? They focus on providing children and families with clean water resources, as well as education and other resources.
The Water Project
The Water Project is a non-profit that works exclusively in sub-Saharan Africa, and says they help communities with clean water by providing “training, expertise, and financial support.” They say that this issue affects women, children, and families, and that specifically women and girls can spend hours a day fetching drinking water that is not even safe for drinking.
The Water Project works in 11 African countries including Uganda, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan, to create clean water opportunities.
Water.org is a global nonprofit that has made some big strides when it comes to clean water: it says its projects have impacted more than 43 million people in 17 countries with their clean water solutions, by working with local partners.
Their work is done by securing loans for clean water projects, helping with access to financing, and working to influence public policy.
WaterAid is an international non-profit that focuses on global water resources. They don’t just cover clean drinking water, but also access to sanitation and hygiene resources. That includes working toilets, and good sanitation.
In the areas where they work, WaterAid says that people drink natural sources like rivers, which can be full of waste and parasites that spread disease. That’s why WaterAid specifically taps into groundwater, drills wells, and harvests rainwater so people have access to clean water, no matter where they’re located. They also say that around the world, one in four people don’t have access to a decent toilet, which creates hygiene issues.
The Nalgene Water Fund
Not to toot our own horn, but we here at Nalgene Outdoor understand just how important clean drinking water is. That’s why we created the Nalgene Water Fund, a project that supports domestic communities here in the US that are struggling with access to clean water. We do this by partnering with grassroots nonprofits to raise funds and awareness.
How exactly does the Nalgene Water Fund work? We create limited-edition Nalgene bottles that are part of the Nalgene Water Fund, and we will contribute $5 of every purchase of a Nalgene Water Fund Exclusive Bottle to Reverb, Inc.
Plus, the designs of these bottles are pretty incredible. Take our Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) bottle, created in partnership with Jaden Redhair. This 20-year-old is an accomplished Navajo artist born for the Jemez Clan. Sales from this bottle go towards combating the water crisis facing America’s largest indigenous tribe.
Support the Nalgene Water Fund Today
Your purchase of the Nalgene Water Fund bottle supports domestic communities in need. This year’s bottle supports Navajo Nation.Shop NWF