Water for Humans
Mission Statement: Water for Humans is a nonprofit, social venture enterprise that provides low cost, clean water solutions to underserved populations, while keeping water as a local and public resource.
Water for Humans will work with an entire watershed at a time to engage communities in the restoration and preservation of both their regional watersheds and water delivery infrastructures. Our top priority is to ensure that the public retains control over these common assets. Some of the methods employed for this effort will be deployment of composting latrines, implementation of living machine and biofuel digester style wastewater treatment technologies, as well as wetland and forest reclamation projects. All of these endeavors will help facilitate public health and watershed improvements.
Programs and Activities
In deploying our long-term mission/strategy, we envision teaming with existing organizations such as Engineers Without Borders, Humboldt State University and Action in Sustainability (an AWISH organization). Proceeds from the implementation of our near term mission will go directly to supporting our longer term mission.
Our near term work will focus on providing immediate cost effective solutions to households who lack potable water. Initially, we will focus on watersheds and communities that have community water systems which are not safe or drinkable. By leveraging the existing water infrastructure, we will deploy point-of-use water purification systems specifically tailored to the water quality to ensure cost effective safe and good tasting water, via a long-term lease. We will be using commercially available water purification technology that typically consists of a series of cartridge filters, an in-line sealed UV lamp, and a micro-injection chlorine system. It should be noted that the technology chosen for a specific application (typically standardized within the community water distribution system), will vary from community to community depending on the water quality and hazards. For example, communities where the water supply is contaminated with heavy metals or arsenic will require different technologies.
For homes without water piping, Water for Humans will deploy culturally-appropriate, proven technologies. For example, the Aqua UVo is a relatively simple product that is currently being deployed by Niparaja AC (an NGO in Baja California Sur, Mexico). This system can disinfect water collected from a well or a stream. Customers pour water out of the bucket with a nozzle much like that of an office water cooler. Currently, this system only removes biological contaminants. Water for Humans is developing add-ons to improve the safety and reliability of this system; and is working with the manufacturer to have these features included on the units we deploy. There are many additional culturally-appropriate technology solutions for these types of applications (sand filters, silver impregnated porous ceramic, etc...). We will work closely with individuals, organizations and community members to determine the best system for each watershed.
Links to Additional Info
- June 2009 News Release: Water For Humans Launches Social Enterprise to Bring Clean Drinking Water Technology to Developing World
- Project Leader Biographies
- Water for Humans web site
Rick McKenney, Executive Director
Web site: http://www.waterforhumans.org/