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CharityWater.Org Providing Clean Water For those in Need. One Well at a Time.

An in-depth look at a charity and what they're doing to provide clean water for everyone on the planet.

By victoria patricoloPublished 2 years ago 6 min read
Clean water celebration

In honor of Earth Month, I wanted to write something special. It prompted me to create a new chapter of ConsciousTraveler.Co. These posts will highlight charities that tie into the narrative of sustainable tourism. CharityWater.Org was a perfect match. 

As I was researching this incredible organization, I could not believe all they have accomplished in their short life span of 16 years. Even during the pandemic they pressed on and continued to raise money and work towards their goal of providing access to clean water for every person on the planet. That is a huge task, but they are making progress one well at a time. 

I want you to take a moment and think back over these last few years. How many times have you heard the statement “Wash Your Hands” and “Sanitize”? Maybe you saw it on a sign in a bathroom or heard it in a commercial or at the doctor’s office. We are washing our hands and cleaning constantly. Now imagine living in a poor community where the closest water source is a 2-hour hike. You have to walk there every day lugging a 40lb jug on your back. Once you get to this water source. It’s not a well pumping clean water. It’s a river, or pond with stagnant water, laced with bacteria, possibly contaminated with disease. Now imagine walking this water back another 2 hours and drinking it, washing with it, and giving it to your thirsty babies because there is nothing else to keep them hydrated.   

As I am writing this post, I have a large glass of cool water next to me. I just took a sip and realized how fortunate I am to have what we take for granted every day. 

Do you know how many people on this planet do not have clean water? An unimaginable 785 million. More people die from illnesses due to poor water quality than acts of violence including war. 

clean vs contanimated water

Common diseases that are caused by contaminated water, and their very uncomfortable symptoms. 

1. Typhoid Fever. Up to 20 million people a year suffer from this illness, mostly in poor and underdeveloped countries. Symptoms include -  fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. 

2. Cholera. Caused by severe dehydration. Symptoms include -  nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle cramps. 

3. Giardia. Caused by parasites in ponds and streams. This usually will clear up on its own within a couple of weeks. But could pose permanent intestinal problems. Symptoms include - abdominal pain, cramps and bloating, diarrhea, and weight loss. 

4. Dysentery. An intestinal infection caused by poor hygiene. Symptoms include - stomach cramps and pain, diarrhea, nausea, fever, vomiting, and dehydration.

5. Escherichia Coli (E.coli). Depending on the strain and the source could be life-threatening, especially for young children. The symptoms are similar to the ones mentioned. 

6. Hepatitis A. A contagious liver disease, caused by contaminated water and poor hygiene. Symptoms include -  fatigue, clay-colored bowel movement, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain near the liver, loss of appetite, and sudden fever. 

7. Salmonella. Comes from ingesting food or water contaminated with feces. Symptoms include blood in stool, chills, headache, and diarrhea. 

Who’s idea was CharityWater.Org?

Founder Scott Harrison began the organization in 2006 after spending a year onboard MercyShip.Org as a volunteer photographer. The ship was providing free medical services in third-world countries. While onboard, Scott soon realized these rural communities were lacking clean water. The whole community's only source of drinking water and bathing was contaminated with bacteria. Wrestling in sickness and mortality.  

This was the definitive moment for Scott he found his life's purpose. A daunting task of providing clean water for everyone on the planet. Almost 1 in 10 people on our big blue marble do not have access to clean water. It’s hard to believe. But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the good news is, that there is a solution and it’s sustainable.

enjoying fresh water

Their Mission Statement.


How much of CharityWater.Org donations go directly to providing clean water? uses 100% of its donations to provide clean water to some of the poorest communities around the globe. The overhead is financed by company sponsorships. As a donor, you can rest assured that every cent of your donation will go to providing clean water to a rural community. You can even track their progress by GPS on the website. Transparency is key to ChartiyWater.Org's success. 

The great part about this organization is not only the services they are providing but how they provide it. They implement community-owned water projects. The community maintains, monitors, and evaluates the wells and water sources. This is the sustainable part. So important, to have the local community involved. This ensures the success of the water source for future generations. 

Without a clean water source nearby in these communities, women carry a heavy load. Some walk up to 4 hours a day with 40lb water jugs on their backs.  When the wells spout out the clean water for the first time, it’s a celebration. It uplifts the whole community. The women don’t have to walk far distances to access the well. They can confidently clean their homes, wash their clothes, and feed their children. The schools can provide clean sanitation facilities. It frees up time for the women to work and earn an income for their families. All this from simply providing clean water. 

women walking carrying heavy jugs of water

In 2020 CharityWater.Org  raised $55.4 million for clean water, bringing their completed water projects to over 64000. They have brought clean water to over 12.5 million people in 29 countries. That is something to be proud of. But their work has only just begun. There are still 785 million people on our planet that do not have easy access to clean water. 

The pillars of CharityWater.Org include.

  • Providing safe drinking water 
  • Sanitation and hygiene programs 
  • 8 of 10 people without a clean water source live in rural communities.
  • Work with International and local NGOs,.ensuring solutions are designed locally. 
  • Support post-implementation water programs for long term sustainability
  • Work in areas with high needs and low income. 
gathering water from a stream

These numbers will blow your mind. CharityWater.Org has delivered clean water to all these countries.  

  • Mozambique, 67,300 people 175 Projects
  • Zimbabwe 32,815 people 185 Projects
  • Central African Republic 18,461 people 50  Projects
  • Sierra Leone Sustainability Project Funding Only
  • Côte D’ivoire 30,450 people 81  Projects
  • Uganda 146,445 people 695  Projects
  • Malawi 102,468 people 370  Projects
  • Ethiopia 151,950 people 516  Projects  
  • Kenya 11,850 people 24  Projects 
  • Rwanda 72,749 people 231  Projects
  • Tanzania 8,870 people 22 Projects
  • Niger 36,200 people 74  Projects
  • Mali 56,107 people 121  Projects
  • Nepal 40,530 people 4,103  Projects
  • India 34,611 people 1,298 Projects
  • Bangladesh 101,520 people 180  Projects
  • Laos 6,014 people 934  Projects
  • Cambodia 163,500 people 870  Projects
  • How does CharityWater.Org make sure that 100% of donations are going directly to the clean water initiatives? They break it down by the type of supporter:

    • The Well - these are made up of private donors that cover operational costs for the charity. 
    • Water Project Sponsors - Fund entire water projects 
    • The Spring - Passionate monthly givers, now reaching more than 70,000. (I’m one of these and donate on a monthly basis)
    • The Pool - Business leaders donate a portion of their shares to private companies that support operational expenses. 
    • Charity Water UK -supported operations through Gift-Aid and has its own Spring membership.
    • Fundraisers - in 2020 an online streaming event that raised $320,281.00 for clean water. 
    • Brand Partners - in 2020 worked with 100 Brand partners and corporate supporters that donated to clean water and operational costs. 
    • The Tributary - Planned giving program in 2020 116 families included a gift in their will 

    The goal is lofty for but they are making headway and spreading the word. The most impressive thing about this charity is the rewards far outreach the cost and effort to bring water to these communities. They have proven with the right people and resources connecting the dots is possible. 

    If you would like to donate or learn more about CharityWater.Org visit their website and sign up today. You can follow them on social media and see their GPS targeting of current projects. By clicking any of these links on the CharityWater.Org you will be redirected to The Spring donor site.

    I hope you’ll subscribe to ConsciousTraveler.Co and experience the benefits of traveling sustainable, Explore unique experiences, close to home and far away. Plus learn about amazing organizations that are making a real difference to rural communities around the world. 

    I’ll See Ya There!

    Source: 2020 Annual Report -CharityWater.Org



    About the Creator

    victoria patricolo

    In April, 2020. I launched ConsciousTraveler.CO. A travel blog focused on sustainable luxury tourism, unique experiences, travel tips and trends. I hope to inspire people to travel much depends on it.

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      victoria patricoloWritten by victoria patricolo

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