7 Water Organizations You Should Know

Clean water as a right, not a privilege

Apr 12, 2013

Image from Flickr user kevin dooley

Clean water has become one of our most precious resources in the 21st century, in fact one in nine people live without access to clean and drinkable water.

READ THIS: 5 Amazing Inventions That Deliver Clean Water 

In an effort to change that statistic, we have compiled a list of seven organizations, ranging from nonprofits to good doing companies, who are on a mission to ensure that everyone has drinkable water. Feel free to tell us about other water organizations who are guaranteeing that clean water isn’t a privilege, but a right.


WHAT: Nonprofit  that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing
HOW: 100% of the nonprofit’s public donations go directly to clean water technologies that range from wells to water filtration. Answering this basic human need, charity:water offers a lot of opportunities to get involved, from volunteering to fundraising. One creative way to raise funds is to pledge your birthday, a campaign in which individuals decide that instead of receiving gifts, friends and family are encouraged to donate to charity:water.
WHERE: 20 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Image: Screenshot of charity:water


WHAT: Good doing company that provides comprehensive urban water efficiency
HOW: Miya focuses on reducing Non-Revenue Water (NRW), fresh water that is lost from the distribution system before it reaches consumers. Most municipal water infrastructures are antiquated and not well maintained, resulting in the daily loss of millions of cubic meters of clean water. Miya’s approach takes into consideration the needs, budget and goals of a particular city to design the most appropriate NRW reduction strategy, in addition to providing community awareness programs about water preservation. NRW reduction significantly delivers more clean water, saves energy and lowers costs- a total win-win situation.
WHERE: Philippines, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and the Bahamas

Image: Screenshot of Miya


WHAT: Nonprofit co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White that provides access to safe water and sanitation in developing countries.
HOW: Water.org works with local partner organizations to build wells and provide intensive training seminars on the importance of good hygiene practices and its link to better health. The nonprofit also created WaterCredit, an initiative that connects microfinance institutions to individuals and communities in developing countries who use their small loans to build themselves clean water mechanisms, from wells to toilets.
WHERE: Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean

Image: Screenshot of Water.org


WHAT: A part of the Earth Institute, Columbia Water Center researches and designs sustainable models of water management .
HOW: The Columbia Water Center scientists and researchers work in the fields of hydrology, engineering, public policy, agriculture and finance to address sustainable water use and allocation, tailoring their solutions to fit the needs of each region. Some research projects have included: Climate Risk and Conflict in Central Asia, Delaware River Basin conservation and Columbia Global Flood Initiative.
WHERE: Brazil, Ethiopia, Mali, USA and India 

Image: Screenshot of Columbia Water Center


WHAT: A social enterprise that generates funds for clean water in Africa through the sale of coffee.
HOW: Three Avocados donate 100% of their profits to building water projects in Uganda. They source the coffee from Uganda's Mt. Elgon by collaborating with small coffee growing cooperatives in Uganda. The coffee is fairly traded and organically grown - though uncertified (the nonprofit explains that the cost of certification is beyond the modest operation's budget). 
WHERE: Uganda and Nicaragua 

Image: Screenshot of Three Avocados


WHAT: A nonprofit that brings clean water to those in need through short and long term solutions.
HOW: WATERisLIFE developed a water filtration product called The Straw which provides clean drinking water when immersed into a water source. The innovative
device lasts up to year and removes waterborne diseases with each sip. In the long term scope, the nonprofit teaches sanitation and hygiene education, as well as researches and implements sustainable long lasting clean water solutions that are tailored to each community, and monitored to ensure the longevity of clean water sources.
WHERE: Haiti, Africa, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and South America

Image: Screenshot of WATERisLIFE


WHAT: A nonprofit comprised of faculty and students of University of Virginia who are creating water filtering technologies that improve human health and quality of life.
HOW: Partnering with the University of Venda in Thohoyandou in South Africa,
PureMadi’s first project was a ceramic water filter that used local materials to effectively purify water. They built a sustainable filter factory that is locally run and produces the much needed product. The next creative and life saving endeavor on the docket is the MadiDrop, a simple ceramic water purification tablet that can disinfect water for up to six months by being placed in a container through which water is poured.
WHERE: South Africa

Image: Screenshot of PureMadi