Mission Statement and Approach
Global Water is based upon the belief that the lack of access to safe drinking water is the primary cause of hunger, disease and poverty throughout the developing world. Founded in 1982, Global Water is a volunteer-based, international, non-profit humanitarian organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in the United States. We’re focused on providing safe water supplies, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and related health programs for rural villagers in developing countries.
To achieve this goal, Global Water’s strategy is to provide permanent solutions to a region’s water needs by implementing sustainable and appropriate systems (to include state-of-the-art technology) to:
- Access, purify, and distribute new sources of safe water for rural villages;
- Build sanitation facilities, such as latrines, to create safe waste disposal while providing dignity to rural villagers; and
- Build hygiene-related facilities, such as hand washing stations, for rural schools with a complementary educational component.
Our water projects have an immediate life-changing impact, particularly to women and children, who have the responsibility in rural areas of developing countries to gather water for the family every day of their lives. Successful Global Water projects utilize water and sanitation as a tool to create sustainable socioeconomic development in these poor rural communities.
Simply put – our program is designed to enable the rural poor to help themselves.
Over the past 25 years, Global Water has developed a model that we call the Rural Outreach Water Supply Program (or ROWS Program). This model has worked well for implementing water supply projects in rural villages in many challenging developing country environments and includes the following features:
1.) Work with local, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in a developing country that are currently working with rural water supply projects and identify suitable water projects in their country.
Often there are local organizations in developing countries that have water infrastructure expertise and are already working with rural villages in need of a safe water supply. We call these organizations “water-advocacy” NGOs. A suitable water-advocacy NGO will have the following characteristics:
- provide leadership necessary to liaison (and create a relationship with) water project recipients;
- provide organizational expertise to plan a project with Global Water’s help;
- provide on-site skilled supervision throughout the project; and
- provide after-project continuity to monitor equipment installed during project construction and provide maintenance, as needed;
- Global Water travels to developing countries we are working in to inspect potential project sites to conduct water quality sampling, as required, and to maintain communication with NGOs we work with.
2.) Help local NGOs determine what equipment is essential to satisfy the requirements of a particular project.
In particular, Global Water’s Program Manager and technical advisors will help determine if disinfection or other water treatment technologies are necessary to satisfy the requirements of a particular water project. Relatively simple technologies (such as spring catchment and rain catchment water supply systems, slow-sand filtration treatment equipment and ferro-cement storage tanks) will be the first technologies to be considered; however, if conditions allow, state-of-the-art technologies will also be considered when more sophisticated water treatment is warranted.
3.) Provide specialty water-related equipment to local water-advocacy NGOs.
Global Water purchases water treatment equipment not available in a particular developing country and ships it to the local NGOs for installation and use.
4.) Provide partial to full funding for the project.
Besides the funding provided by Global Water, a small % of the funding (approximately 10%) necessary for a completed water project should come from the recipients of the water project either up-front or in the form of a stipend paid as the water supply system is used; this funding is often paid in terms of materials, such as gravel, sand and cement. In addition, all unskilled labor must be provided by the recipients of the water project for the entire duration of the project construction period. Community recipients may also contribute to the project by transportation support or other non-cash project assistance.
5.) Provide technical expertise to local water-advocacy NGOs during a project to help with project management, equipment installation and training.
Global Water communicates with local NGOs to insure problems that arise are corrected quickly and money is managed efficiently. Global Water helps with calculations necessary to size equipment and distribution pipelines and furnishes equipment training materials, such as installation and operation manuals, as required.
6.) Inspect completed projects and maintain continuity with a project site through the local water-advocacy NGO.
Global Water travels to developing countries we are working in to inspect completed project sites and to conduct water quality sampling, as required. We maintain a relationship with a project site by supporting the water project recipients with consulting, training and repair parts that will be installed with the help of the local water-advocacy NGO that installed the equipment.
7.) Global Water may assemble Water and Technical Emergency Response (W.A.T.E.R.) Teams to perform project work in developing countries.
Depending upon a particular project requirement, Global Water may assemble W.A.T.E.R. Teams to help local non-profit organizations with specific project work in a developing country. These teams are especially helpful during emergency crises events, such as natural disasters. These team members are typically trained volunteers that donate their time to perform technical, equipment-oriented humanitarian projects. They come from varied backgrounds, but most have a previous connection to the water supply and water equipment industries. Many are technically-oriented and retired or semi-retired who love to work on humanitarian projects to bring safe, clean water to people in need. They want to make a difference in the world — and they do!!