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Meet Fabien Cousteau

Fabien 1

Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques-Yvez Cousteau, recently embarked on a
journey to live underwater for 31 days- next, he’ll be sharing his experience and
knowledge with the 2014 IF Water audience. The overarching theme for Mission
31 is the human-ocean connection within the lens of exploration and discovery.
Three main topics will be highlighted throughout Mission 31: climate change and
the related challenges of ocean acidification; ocean pollution with an emphasis on
the effects of plastics; and overconsumption of resources with specific focus on the
decline of biodiversity.

Check out photos from Fabien’s project here.

Fabien Cousteau
Fabien is an oceanographic explorer, conservationist and documentary filmmaker. Fabien has spent his life fulfilling his family’s legacy of protecting and preserving the planet’s endangered marine inhabitants and habitats. Fabien’s work has followed the legacy of his grandfather, who was, among many other things, a filmmaker, scientist, author, and researcher who studied the sea and life in water. Fabien’s IF Water talk will draw from his vast experiences and engage listeners in discussion surrounding the world’s water.

If you would like to hear Fabien speak in person, don’t miss IF Water 2014. The 3rd Annual IF Water Conference will be held on Tuesday, September 30th in conjunction with IdeaFestival® at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Read more about it here.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Why Bees?

Curious why WaterStep is putting bee hives on our roof? It’s all about community partnerships that make Louisville a better place to live. We are excited to use our building as a platform for local organizations to come together. Our bee hives are just the start.

Check out some of the reasons we’ve decided to partner with Walter T. Kelley Beekeeping:

·         The Walter T. Kelley mission is to “Build Hives that Change Lives” as one of the oldest and largest suppliers of beekeeping equipment and honeybees in the United States ·         Beekeeping is vital to the health of our nation’s agricultural system and without more beekeepers, our food supply would be under significant risk of loss with 1 out of every 3 bites of food you are eating tonight due to the work of honeybees.  Even Einstein stated, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have 4 years of life left.”

·         WTK and Waterstep are trying to solve this Gordian Knot of Resources – how do we protect and how do we grow the most vital of all resources – water and food – under such incredible threats of contamination to transform lives throughout the world.

·         In a way, with WTK focused on food supply thru bees and Waterstep on water thru technology and training, we are both the caretakers of a higher creation and that stewardship imparts a profound reverence and obligation.

·         WTK is donating 5 hives as well as a portion of all proceeds of their Urban Hives.  By investing  in the community together, we will transform lives through education and service.

We are excited about the opportunity to serve our community and partner with an organization that is committed to bettering the environment and maintaining healthy food sources.


Meet the Millennials

WaterStep couldn’t be more excited about the next generation of our leaders. These Millennials have discovered their passions and have found creative ways to imbed their knowledge of safe water into their everyday lives. Check out thier stories!

Nathan Rider

My name is Nathan Rider.  I am the Regional Logistics Coordinator for the Philippines.  My interest in water originates in my interest in food. It just makes sense to empower communities with safe water before teaching better farming methods.  If water comes first, when they have great access to good food, community members wont starve from diarrhea caused by unsafe water.  Currently at WaterStep I am mapping and tracking the sustainability of WaterStep’s Post-Yolanda Disaster Relief work in the Philippines.  My communication skills, attention to detail, and interest in sustainability have proven to be essential for this task.  Eventually, in finding communities successfully empowered with safe water, I not only see a healthier community, but I envision a perfect foundation for economic and agricultural empowerment as well.


CoraLyn J. Turentine here: I serve WaterStep as the Director for WaterStep Indy, Ambassador to Haiti, and Health and Hygiene Instructor. It’s not that I care about water, but that I care about the people consuming the water. I’ve been fortunate enough to live a life filled with hope, founded in the ongoing exchange of love, and fueled by empowerment. My deepest desire is for others to have this experience, also. Working with safe water provides one strategy that is relevant in every context. The entire world needs safe water. The entire world also needs hope, love, and empowerment. Thus, I use the tool of safe water to share hope, exchange love, and ignite empowerment. Millennials are said to be very big on transparency when interacting with others. I try to remain honest and transparent when connecting others with WaterStep. When people encounter WaterStep, they should have an experience that is meaningful for them, and it shouldn’t be fabricated. I allow myself to be vulnerable in sharing my experience with WaterStep and our work in hopes that as people recognize our humanity, they will connect with it, relate to it, and be willing to reveal their humanity as well.

WaterStep Ali Awards

Sean M. Vandevander is a volunteer, and associate with WaterStep, who through his consulting firm helps to oversee special initiatives for the organization.  Vandevander is also an entrepreneur, and sees the value in building sustainable models of social venture for WaterStep to use in combating water issues globally.  Some of these initiatives include the WaterBall, distance learning programs, and the marketing of disaster relief systems to Emergency Management Agencies domestically.  Vandevander is also working to develop a sustainability themed incubator which will work very closely with WaterStep on multiple levels of social venture, and entrepreneurship.
Vandevander has always been aware of the burdens that are directly associated with water, and the greater needs for sanitation and access to safe resources.  Water is often tainted in parts of Appalachia that are directly polluted by the coal industry, and its vendors, as we recently saw in West Virginia with the chemical spill.  Being raised in Kentucky where coal provides 90% of the energy consumed sheds a light on the need for safe water.  3% of Kentucky currently does not have access to safe water, though Louisville is known as the water capitol of the world because of its reputable water utilities and the footprint of WaterStep in the community.
Vandevander specializes in business development and government relations.  He uses his relationships and networks to raise awareness for WaterStep and its mission, as well as drives special initiatives that open up new resources and opportunities for WaterStep.  Vandevander believes the millennial generation both sees and values the need for collaboration and cooperation in advancing both business and social venture.  He works to bring this to fruition in the creation of progressive and beneficial partnerships that best position WaterStep, and other interests for future success.


My name is Josh Hardesty, and as a WaterStep Millennial, I represent a generation of young adults who are truly invested in making a difference in our world, particularly as it relates to the global water crisis. My specific title with WaterStep is an International Ambassador, which means that I focus on how WaterStep interacts with other individuals and groups across the globe to widen our influence and deepen our impact so that we can make meaningful progress towards a world without unsafe drinking water. With the use of social media and various other forms of technology, I am able to connect with individuals all over the world to form common bonds that allow WaterStep to make a lasting difference in communities where unsafe drinking water is not accessible. Currently, I serve as one of two WaterStep Ambassadors in Europe, working to form relationships  across Europe and West Africa that Waterstep can partner with to fight the global water crisis as a united front. As a Waterstep Millennial it is my duty to use the tools at hand to ensure that my generation is aware of the crises that our world face and that we do all way can to stop them.

Morgan Floyd

My name is Morgan Floyd and I am a WaterStep Ambassador to India. Currently I live in Kolkata and this whole year I will be attempting to address the problem of unclean water in the public schools of Udaipur. I am passionate about safe water because I know what difference it makes in children’s lives. Clean water for these students will result in fewer diseases, better overall health, and better brain development. Most of my life has been devoted to children, both at home and abroad. I believe all children have the right to health: to run and play and learn and become the successful and happy adults they dream of being. This should not be dependent on the circumstances of their birth. The greatest assets that I have to contribute to the Millennial Team are flexibility and networking. Aid across culture, customs, and language barriers sometimes can be very difficult and frustrating. Flexibility has allowed me to overcome most of the obstacles I have faced while my networking skills connected me to individuals who have helped change happen. Both of these assets have allowed me to take on projects bigger than I thought possible.


My name is Katie Jaggers and I am Social Media Coordinator for WaterStep. Water is important to me because I believe access to safe water is a basic human right that should not be denied because of where and when someone was born. I believe that in my lifetime, the world water crisis can be solved. As Social Media Coordinator, I am able to connect with people through different digital networks and empower others to take steps that make a difference. Along with the team of WaterStep Millennials who work to reach out through social media, I can give a voice to global issues and represent my generation’s desire to end the water crisis. Universal communication and advocacy are essential to advancing WaterStep’s mission.

Tori Shover

My name is Victoria Shover and I am an Ambassador for WaterStep. I care about improving the world water crisis because I am concerned about the amount of human potential being lost to unsafe water. As a part of the Millennial Team, I utilize social media to raise awareness about the water crisis, make connects for potential partnerships in community development and learn about how others are engaging in social entrepreneurialship. While living abroad in Spain as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, I am working to increase my knowledge of globalization and how societal trends will dictate equitable access to education. I believe safe water saves lives and a healthy child will be a more successful student, more equipped to contribute to society, and ideally, able to empower others



Water Purifier donated in memory of Kentuckian will aid typhoon victims in the Philippines

Glenn Smith, a Kentuckian and long time friend of WaterStep, passed away this past week. A water disaster kit has been donated in memory of his life and his dedication and involvement in the Walk to Emmaus and Residents Encounter Christ ministries. The water disaster kit will be tracked as it goes to the Philippines to aid the typhoon victims there that do not have a source of safe water in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan. This act will give new life to others in danger of waterborne illness.

I Thirst Recap

As we are taking time to look back on the highlights of the year, we are grateful to all of the people involved in achieving our mission. This year at I Thirst, we were glad to have a time to reflect and look towards the future. Speakers included CEO Mark Hogg, Indianapolis Representative CoraLyn Turentine, AMOR representative William Walker, and Barbara Sexton Smith from Fund for the Arts. Check out the pictures below to see highlights from the night.