7 Companies Creating Clean Water for Millions of People
Despite some astonishing statistics that highlight there is still more work to be done, solutions to the global water crisis are making a huge impact and helping to end a key component of the vicious cycle of poverty.
Despite the fact that 2.1 billion people in the world still lack access to clean water and a staggering 4.5 billion lack access to sufficient sanitation, the global water crisis is expected to be solved in this lifetime. Can you believe this? Considering that without water, people simply can’t survive, finding solutions that work is crucial. Since every $1 invested in clean water, sanitation and hygiene improvements returns $8 of increased economic activity, companies working on innovative solutions to provide clean drinking water across the globe have seen the fruits of their labor blossom and have been able to expand their reach to more and more communities in need. Here are seven companies creating clean water for millions and ways that you can help the momentum keep flowing until the crisis is solved once and for all.
After travel highlighted the issue of the global water crisis, to tackle the problem, Danny Wright founded Gravity Water, a company that produces a rainwater harvesting system that uses above-ground storage tanks with a 3-tiered filtration system and gravity. A simple, yet effective design, the Gravity Water system is well-suited to tropical and sub-tropical developing countries that see plenty of rainfall and also make up 85-percent of the global population that lacks clean drinking water. The tanks offer long-term storage capabilities, can adapt to climate change, and the system of using tanks is already common practice, but now instead of ground storage and pump extraction, Gravity Water systems are above ground and operate using only gravity, making them 100-percent energy-free!
Start Somewhere: Help the cause today by making an $8 donation to Gravity Water to provide safe drinking water to a child in need, or consider foregoing a few lattes each month to provide daily access on an ongoing basis. Provide permanent access to safe drinking water with the purchase of a unique handmade and sustainably sourced bamboo water bottle.
After personally declaring spiritual and emotional bankruptcy, Scott Harrison spent two years on a hospital ship off the Liberian coast and got to witness firsthand the detrimental effects of unsafe drinking water. He returned to New York City in 2006 and with a small team, created charity: water. His vision and mission was grand: bring clean water to every person living without it, while reinventing charity with a 100-percent model featuring radical transparency and proving each and every funded water project. And, 12 years on, the numbers don’t lie. Thanks to charity: water projects, 8.4 million people will have access to safe drinking water as the result of $320 million raised to fund 30,000 sustainable projects in 26 countries. It’s a huge impact and growing by the day.
After living in the Asia-Pacific region for 16 years and leading emergency response efforts in Sri Lanka following the Tsunami of 2004, Planet Water Foundation’s founder, Mark Steele, set his sights on bringing clean water to disadvantaged populations through community-based water systems and organizing hygiene education programs that focus on rural communities, schools and kids. On World Water Day, the Foundation and its corporate partners mobilized to bring clean drinking water and educational programs to 24 different communities in 24 hours. The efforts of Planet Water Foundation are supporting nearly 1 million people in 13 countries to ensure access to safe water.
Start Somewhere: Learn more about Planet Water Foundation’s platforms and partners, and make a donation that helps educate the next generation on the importance of sustainable, clean water in the developing world.
The LifeStraw journey began when the Carter Center approached parent company, Vestergaard, to design a cloth filter to remove Guinea worm larvae from water sources. Twenty-four years later, LifeStraw and its designs have evolved to meet changing water purification and demand needs. After developing new filters that can remove virtually all microbiological contaminants from unclean water, LifeStraw produces and distributes straw-like personal water filters, family purification units, portable units and large-scale purification units for institutional use in schools and health clinics.
Start Somewhere: If you’re outdoorsy, you can benefit from having a LifeStraw water bottle in your pack while out on the trails and your purchase will ensure that one child will get safe drinking water for an entire school year. If you’re content with city life, but still want to help, your donation will make a difference.
Seeing that packaged water isn’t going anywhere, a simple idea of founder Benjamin Gott led to the birth of BoxedWater. He wanted to package water in a more environmentally-conscious way. While bottled water is convenient, its production is not sustainable. Boxed water is more efficient to both produce and transport. The packaging is 100-percent recyclable, comes from well-managed, sustainable forests, and can be flat-packed to regional filling stations, with a comparatively lower carbon footprint. Boxed water uses one truck for every 26 used to ship bottled water. Consumers are seeing the benefit too, and in 2013 both Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits music festivals supplied music lovers with BoxedWater.
Start Somewhere: Follow suit and shop BoxedWater for your upcoming event or for home delivery. Join the #betterplanet crew on social media and have two trees planted while gaining access to exclusive deals when you sign up for the email newsletter.
Not your regular bottled water, Generosity Water is as committed to the health of the drinker as it is to ending the global water crisis. Its founding principal guides there giving, and for each bottle of Generosity Water sold, two people will have clean water for a month, and every case provides two people with clean water for a year. In addition to a business model focused on giving back, Generosity Water is purified using reverse osmosis, and then ionized with minerals to stabilize the pH at 10, an optimal alkaline level to maintain your body’s health. Recognizing that access to water is a basic need of all humans and is essential to health, economic viability, educational access, and equality for women and children, Generosity Water is focused on breaking the cycle by providing access to clean water around the world.
Start Somewhere: For your health and the health and wellbeing of others, shop Generosity Water. If you run a shop and would like to make Generosity Water available to your customers, learn how to buy wholesale.
Up to six hours a day can be spent by women and children in developing countries gathering safe water for home use and 1 out of every 3 people lacks access to a toilet. With better access to water and toilets, that valuable time could be spent earning an income or getting an education. Not having access to safe water and sanitation is a factor that limits growth and potential for many families throughout the world. Through microloans, Water.org brings safe water and sanitation solutions into the homes of those who need it most. In operation for the last decade, Water.org was the creation of Matt Damon and Gary White, who were searching out smart solutions to combating the global water crisis. Attracting over $1 billion in capital, each $1 of WaterCredit creates $40 of impact, and once a loan is repaid, the balance is then lent to another family in need.