World Water Day, held on March 22 every year since 1993, raises awareness for the 2.2 billion people worldwide living without access to safe water and advocates for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6: Sustainable access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) for all by 2030.
For many, the day focuses attention on the world’s most impoverished, underdeveloped nations. But would it surprise you to learn that nearly 2.2 million+ people living in America — the most developed nation on Earth – also lack daily access to clean water, running toilets, and plumbing that the rest of us take for granted?
We create signature Nalgene bottles – sometimes beautifully designed by local artists – to raise awareness and funds to help U.S. communities impacted by the growing domestic water gap. We also use the heft of our website, social media, paid and earned media to educate the masses and implore them not to take for granted the water that runs so easily from their tap.
By the numbers, the U.S. water crisis is startling:
- 1.4 million people in the United States and 250,000 people in Puerto Rico lack access to hot and cold running water, a sink, a shower/bath, or a flush toilet. An additional 553,000 homeless people lack equitable access to running water and sanitation in America.
- More than 44 million people in the USA are served by water systems that recently had health-based Safe Drinking Water Act violations.
- African-American and Latinx households are nearly twice as likely to lack complete plumbing than white households, and Native American households are 19 times more likely making race the strongest predictor of water and sanitation access in the United States.
- Lack of adequate water infrastructure is the root cause, not living off the grid and the problem extends across the whole USA. Entire communities from California to Pennsylvania lack access to water and sanitation because of historical and geographical factors in the United States.
Source: Dig Deep’s and the U.S. Water Alliance’s 2019 report entitled “Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States”
The Nalgene Water Fund In Action
These statistics only scratch the surface on the full extent of the problem so the Nalgene Water Fund is also hard at work putting the dollars we raise through the sale of our Nalgene Water Fund bottles to work with local nonprofits fighting to right this wrong in US communities:
- Flint, Michigan: In 2020, through a partnership with Freshwater Future and Thermo-Fisher Scientific, the NWF donated more than $650,000 to the Flint Community Lab in state-of-the-art laboratory instruments, critical funding and reusable bottles used for both water sample collection and continued use at home. In 2022, the NWF will send a second installment of 7,000 Nalgene bottles for collecting local water samples for testing.
- Navajo Nation: In 2021, the NWF partnered with Jaden Redhair, a local Navajo designer to create the “Water is Life” bottle, which to date has raised more than $45,000 toward efforts to improve access to clean water on the Navajo Nation in partnership with two Navajo nonprofits: C.O.P.E and Dig Deep. In 2022, the NWF is working with Redhair on a second “Water is Life” bottle design whose funds will again benefit Dig Deep’s Navajo Water Project, ultimately aiding in better sanitation systems, job training, and employment opportunities.
- Benton Harbor, Michigan: In 2021, the NWF contributed more than $16,000 to install eight water refill stations that filter out lead in schools and also send nearly 3,000 Nalgene bottles to schools located in Benton Harbor, MI. The NWF’s donation ensures that all students in grades K-12 have access to clean drinking water and bottles to drink it from. In 2022, water samples from all the fountains will be taken monthly and shipped to the Flint Community Lab for testing to determine filter maintenance and keep the refill stations working hard!
How Can You Help this World Water Day? Join the Nalgene Water Fund in Closing the Domestic Water Gap
The work of the Nalgene Water Fund has only just begun. Education, advocacy, and conservation remain priority initiatives to combat the growing inequities in water access in the United States. Help us, help the many nonprofits and people working hard to right this injustice. Purchase one of the limited edition 32 oz. Nalgene Water Fund bottles designed to support domestic water issues. $5 from the sale of every NWF bottle goes toward closing the U.S. water gap.Nalgene Water Fund Exclusive Bottle