Gathering water puts a burden on many poor families in developing countries. Often people have to travel for hours just to get water. Sometimes this task falls to the children. In recognition of the global water crisis, the United Nations designated March 22 as World Water Day. Here are some charitable organizations whose mission is to bring clean water to underserved communities throughout the world.
Charity: Water is a ten year old New York based charity that has helped to fund 20,000 water projects in over 20 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. 100% of public donations go directly to clean water projects including wells and water filtration systems. The charity uses social media platforms to bring attention to the global issue of water.
MIYA focuses on reducing non-revenue water (NRW) or fresh water that is lost from the distribution system before it reaches the consumer. These municipalities suffer a loss of millions of cubic meters of clean water every day. MIYA also promotes community awareness about water preservation. In addition to delivering more clean water, cities save energy and get lower costs for water. The program currently operates in the Philippines, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the Bahamas.
WaterisLife cites its mission as bringing clean water to needy populations through short and long term solutions. The organization developed a water filtration system call The Straw. When this device is immersed in a water source, water borne bacteria is removed with each sip. The device lasts up to one year. In terms of long range goals, the program promotes sanitation, hygiene and education about how diseases are spread. Countries served by WaterisLife are Haiti, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of South America.
PureMadi is non-profit organization composed of faculty and students from the University of Virginia. Working with the University of Venda in South Africa, the team produces ceramic water filters using local materials to efficiently purify water. They also created MadiDrop—a simple water purification tablet that can disinfect water for up to six months.
Water.org is an organization co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White. The organization provides information about good hygiene and basic sanitation to local communities in developing countries. They also work to secure safe water by building wells. Donors to the charity can track progress by using GPS coordinates. The co-founders also created WaterCredit, a nonprofit which connects micro-financiers with individuals and communities who use small loans to build wells and toilets.