In late 2020, Nalgene Outdoor partnered with Diné designer Jaden Redhair to create a limited-edition “Tó éí iiná” (Water is Life) bottle, from which $5 of every sale was committed to raise money for solutions to help resolve the water crisis across the Navajo Nation. After record sales and multiple rounds of reprints, the Nalgene Water Fund is pleased to announce that it will donate an additional $36,000 between two nonprofit partners on the Navajo Nation, DigDeep and Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE), bringing the growing total over two years to nearly $80,000 in support.
Going Deeper With DigDeep – Installation of Home Water Systems and Job Training
The majority of the most recent donation will aid DigDeep, a national nonprofit organization working to ensure every American has access to running water and sanitation inside their homes. $33,000 will go directly to DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project , a community-managed utility alternative that brings hot and cold running water to homes on the reservation that are not connected to piped water or sewer lines. The donation is in addition to nearly $14,500 previously contributed by Nalgene Outdoor to DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project, and will help DigDeep achieve their goal of installing water systems in 200 homes across the Navajo Nation this year.
Helping 200 Homes Get Running Water
On the Navajo Nation, DigDeep Home Water Systems bring clean, hot and cold running water to homes previously without water access. First, the Navajo Water Project team installs a 1200-gallon water tank underground at each residence and connects it to basic plumbing inside the home. If the house is not connected to the power grid, the DigDeep team will also install a solar power unit that powers the water system, as well as lights and charging ports inside the home.
The 1200-gallon water tank is buried to prevent freezing and protects the water from contaminants. Inside, the system includes a sink, water heater, filter, expansion tank, pressure gauge, drain line, leach field and, optionally, solar power and lights.
The tanks are refilled by DigDeep’s network of locally-managed water trucks that transport safe drinking water from EPA-approved water access points to the home. Water deliveries are another initiative supported by Nalgene Outdoor donations.
Creating Critical Jobs
DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project is Indigenous-led and locally staffed. In addition to supporting Home Water Systems, Nalgene Water Fund donations have also helped to fund staff training, including CDL training that is offered to Navajo technicians wishing to become licensed as water truck delivery drivers, as well as water truck maintenance and deliveries.
“Since its record day-of launch sales in November 2020, the “Tó éí iiná” bottle has resonated with consumers everywhere. We’re thankful to have DigDeep and COPE as partners who can immediately put the money into the Navajo community creating jobs, installing water systems, and benefiting the Navajo people.”
– Elissa McGee, General Manager, Nalgene Outdoor.
Support for New COPE Water Testing Program Mobilizes Navajo Student Scientists
In addition to its support of DigDeep, Nalgene Outdoor’s latest donation will also include an additional $3,000 and 100 30-ml Nalgene sampling bottles to Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE), a non-profit organization working to address health disparities in Navajo Nation through community-based outreach and food security initiatives.
In 2020 and 2021, Nalgene donated nearly $30,000 in critical funding and supplies to COPE. to install water refill stations and provide carboys (large vessels) to transport water from source to residence in one container.
Nalgene Outdoor’s most recent donation will help fund a new pilot COPE program, “Student Citizen Water Project” that will empower six students to collect water samples in Nalgene water bottles in some of Navajo Nation’s most marginalized areas. Data from these results will then prioritize placement of the filtered water refill stations donated by the Nalgene Water Fund.
This student-centered approach models The Flint Community Lab, also a recipient of Nalgene Water Fund support, and a first of its kind, community-based water testing facility in Flint, Michigan. A unique concept — for the community, by the community — the Lab uses high school students to collect water samples. A multi-generational approach, this concept builds trust in the process where younger members work side-by-side with elders to help assess water safety.
The NWF is proud to connect COPE’s student testing program with The Flint Community Lab who has generously offered to test the water for COPE using their state-of-the art testing equipment.
Continued Support: New Limited-Edition Bottle to Benefit Navajo Nation Coming Soon
Be on the lookout for a new Nalgene Water Fund bottle designed by Jaden Redhair to benefit the Navajo Nation coming soon! In the meantime, if you’d like to support efforts to create equitable clean water access across the United States then purchase Nalgene Water Fund exclusive bottles.Nalgene Water Fund Exclusive Bottle