Community ownership. The people we help continually inspire us. They take water and sanitation projects into their own hands and make them happen, participating in every stage from planning, to building, to maintenance. Improved health, dignity, and transformation don’t come from simply digging a well, but from communities’ hard work and commitment to create lasting change.
We don’t just write checks. Rather, we implement holistic water and sanitation projects on the ground. Working through our certified local partners, our projects are demand-driven and community-led. We also have a long-standing commitment to sustainability, which includes rigorous monitoring, evaluation, and original research programs.
We challenge conventional wisdom. Charity alone will never reach the nearly one billion people in need of safe drinking water. We develop and launch new ideas like WaterCredit to help people in developing countries get small loans, empowering them to immediately address their own water needs. After 10 years of loan cycles, five times as many people have water with WaterCredit than with straight charity.
21 years of experience. We have transformed more than 600,000 lives with access to safe water and sanitation in Africa, South Asia, and Central America. We got our start as WaterPartners International in 1990. In July of 2009, we merged with Matt Damon’s water organization, H2O Africa, to form Water.org.
Integrated projects. Sustainable water and sanitation projects are not simple or easy. Community ownership, integration of locally available technologies, health and hygiene education, and the formation of local water committees and community-based organizations are all critical to lasting success.