A water project addresses whatever water problems a community might have: dirty water, a broken well, long distances to water sources. Every community has a unique mix of problems that require a unique mix of solutions.
Water projects address water supply in a community at multiple levels: individual, family, and community.
A woman might spend hours a day collecting water for her family - give her the tools to carry more water more efficiently and that means that a little less time is required to collect water, so she can dedicate more time to getting an education, learning a skill, or taking care of her family.
A family might have water piped into their home, but the water comes out of the tap dirty because of broken infrastructure. Installing a household filter ensures safe water in the home for drinking, health, and hygiene purposes.
Community centers like schools, churches, and clinics are places where people naturally congregate. Installing a water purifier in a school can serve hundreds of students a day and encourage attendance.
Projects include multiple solutions for every level of the community:
While every community is unique, there are still a few basic elements that are universal. Every water project is supplemented by education in health and sanitation. Teaching sound hygiene practices and proper waste disposal increases the probability of a successful water project.
No community gets a water project without undergoing training. Community members are trained to maintain water purifiers, to repair a well, to teach health. Training empowers people to take care of water for themselves, their families, and their communities. Even more, training is a multiplier and spreads water solutions faster to the people who need them.
A typical project might include:
- Installing water filters in every household
- Installing water purification systems in community centers like schools and churches
- Repairing the local well
- Converting an open well to a closed system
- Building a rain catchment system
- Teaching health and hygiene to school children and mothers
- Teaching sound sanitation procedures
- Disaster relief
- Providing WaterBalls to help transport water
- ‘Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach MDG target and universal coverage.’ World Health Organization. 2012. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/75140/1/WHO_HSE_WSH_12.01_eng.pdf?ua=1