10 Best Charities That Fight for Clean Water (Complete 2023 List)

10 Best Charities That Fight for Clean Water (Complete 2023 List)

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Diana Stancu

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Having clean water for drinking and hygiene is a basic necessity that many of us take for granted. Yet, over 2 billion people lack access to it, which equates to 1 in 3 people around the world. Furthermore, 282 million people spend more than 30 minutes retrieving water each time they need it, and every 21 seconds, an infant dies because of a lack of access to safe drinking water. Fortunately, charities are fighting to give people the critical water systems they need to survive and thrive. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that fight for clean water?

The best charities that fight for clean water are Charity: Water, Water.org, and the Water Mission. Other charities, like the Planet Water Foundation, the Safe Water Network, and WaterAid, help the world’s most disadvantaged communities to access safe drinking water. 

Whether you want to help underserved communities to access safe water and sanitation services, ensure vulnerable communities are educated on the importance of hygiene, or advocate for better legislation to improve access to safe, clean water, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight for clean water are all about, how they work, and what would be your best way to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight for Clean Water Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their impact, community reach, transparency ratings, and diversity of water solutions. They operate primarily in Africa and Asia, improving the health and life quality of communities affected by the water crisis. 

Most of the charities below work directly with communities or collaborate with local leaders to implement filtration systems that clean local water sources and make them safe for drinking. They also provide sanitation tools and teach communities about the importance of hygiene. Moreover, they build custom water-sourcing methods that best fit the needs and resources of each individual community. In addition, they ensure their projects are sustainable by training locals to maintain and monitor them or by building long-distance sensors to solve technical problems as soon as they happen. Yet, through different means, all the charities share the same goal of fulfilling the basic need and right to clean water.

These Are the 10 Best Charities That Fight for Clean Water in 2023

Below are our favorite charities that fight for clean water:

  • Charity: Water 
  • Water.org 
  • Water For People 
  • Water Mission 
  • Planet Water Foundation 
  • WaterAid 
  • Splash 
  • Safe Water Network
  • The Water Project 
  • Thirst Project

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Charity: Water – Eradicating the Global Water Crisis 

Charity: Water was founded in 2006 by Scott Harrison after he saw the effects of dirty water firsthand while living in Liberia. He aimed to bring clean and safe water to disadvantaged communities and improve their health. Today, the charity partners with local organizations to build sustainable water projects worldwide.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Charity: Water has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Our mission is to bring clean water to every person living without it.

Charity: Water

What they do: Charity: Water teams up with local partners to select the best regions for water projects based on community needs, local economy, and regional geography. They also provide resources for nine types of water implementation solutions, like drilled wells, BioSand Filters, or piping systems. In addition to the construction process, they work with the community to teach safe hygiene practices and establish water committees to manage projects. Moreover, they make their projects sustainable by running quality checkups and ensuring that spare parts for the machines can be purchased locally. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, Charity: Water has served 15,5 million people by funding nearly 112,000 clean water projects across 29 countries. For example, in 2021, they funded more than 27,000 safe water systems that served almost 2 million people in need from 21 countries in Asia and Africa. In the same year, they fundraised over $100 million to invest in vital clean water projects. They also developed a remote-monitoring tool using innovative sensors and cloud computing technology to equip locals with real-time data on water system performance.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Charity: Water on their website. You can also support one of their fundraising campaigns or buy their merchandise. In addition, you can sponsor a full grassroots water project.

Water.org: Safe Water Protects and Saves Lives

Water.org was founded in 2009 by Gary White and Matt Damon to bring clean water to the developing world by making it safe, accessible, and cost-effective. Today, the charity helps people get access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing to empower their communities.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Water.org has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We believe water is the way to break the cycle of poverty, to protect and save lives, and to make bright futures possible. We’re here to bring water and sanitation to all.

Water.org

What they do: Water.org breaks the barriers to safe water through their WaterCredit Initiative. Through this, they give small, affordable loans to individual households to help them build water taps in their homes. They also partner with local governments and financial institutions to reach more communities and help create sanitation systems. Furthermore, they lend each repaid loan to another underserved family needing safe water, thus creating a self-sustaining strategy that breaks the cycle of poverty. In addition, they measure and track the progress of the credits to ensure they are used responsibly and impactfully.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Water.org has helped over 51 million people from 11 countries and 4 continents to access safe water and sanitation systems. In addition, they have lent 11,2 million loans to individual families through their WaterCredit scheme. They have also distributed over $4 billion in loans to local partners to help communities implement tap water tools. Moreover, their average WaterCredit loan is $360, which made it possible for 99% of them to be repaid and lent to another family in need. For example, in 2021 alone, they equipped 9 million people with safe water resources and distributed $740 in small loans.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Water.org on their website. You can also support them by fundraising, starting a corporate partnership, or shopping on their online store

Water For People: Clean Water For Everyone, Forever

Water For People was founded in 1991 by the American Water Works Association in response to the increasing water scarcity in developing countries. They wanted to develop high-quality drinking water, accessible to all affected individuals. Today, they work with businesses and governments to empower communities with safe water and sanitation.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Water For People has a 91% encompass score for Finance and Accountability from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Creating a world where everyone has safe drinking water, forever.

Water For People

What they do: Water For People designs lasting water solutions that can serve multiple generations of a community. They do this by partnering with district governments that provide and manage water services locally. They also engage in years-long water projects by building piped infrastructure, conserving water sources, and training local mechanics to repair water systems. In addition, they advocate for national water policies and, if necessary, build local institutions that control water services to ensure they are maintained long into the future. They also monitor and consult local partners 5 years after finishing the projects to preserve their initial quality.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Water For People has worked to provide safe water services in over 40 countries worldwide. For example, between 2017 and 2021, they helped 4,7 million people access reliable water solutions across 9 countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. In the same period, their water projects reached nearly 4,000 communities and 1,500 schools while creating permanent jobs for 2,500 locals. Furthermore, in 2021 alone, they invested over $18 million to provide clean water technology to 253,000 people from 587 underserved regions

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Water For People on their website. You can also support their work by buying their merchandise, volunteering, or starting a fundraiser.

Water Mission: Supplying Clean Water & Related Engineering

Water Mission was founded in 1998 by Molly and George Greene to stop the suffering of communities lacking proper water filtration. Today, they engineer safe water and sanitation solutions in developing countries and disaster areas worldwide.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Water Mission has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Guided by love, excellence, and integrity, we are driven to share clean, safe water and God’s love with all.

Water Mission

What they do: Water Mission helps rural communities to implement water projects by promoting healthy hygiene behaviors and training locals to manage water projects. To construct the projects, the charity connects water sources such as rivers or drilled wells to water storage tanks. Furthermore, they build pumps and piping systems to distribute the water across the community. If electrical power is needed and a village cannot sustain it, they provide solar panels to power the filters. Moreover, they ensure the water is safe by testing it with Living Water Treatment Systems and treating it with Erosion Chlorinators. They also monitor their services and give technical support.

What they’ve achieved: To date, Water Mission has provided clean water solutions to more than 7 million underserved people in 57 countries. They have also collaborated with over 400 local leaders working in permanent country programs worldwide. For example, in 2021, they invested over $33 million to provide water, hygiene, and sanitation solutions to over 1,12 million people in need. In the same year, they aided 260,000 survivors of 10 natural disasters with immediate solutions for water hazards and shortages. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Water Mission on their website. You can also join their Walk for Water fundraising event, volunteer, or start your own fundraiser.

Planet Water Foundation: Alleviating the Water Crisis

The Planet Water Foundation was founded in 2009 by Mark Steele to bring clean water to the world’s most impoverished communities. Today, they use water filtration solutions to improve the health of underserved children worldwide. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Planet Water Foundation holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Together, we can abolish global water poverty, one community at a time.

Planet Water Foundation

What they do: The Planet Water Foundation provides AquaTower water filtration solutions to communities and schools to access safe drinking water. Their filtration systems use UF technology to remove virtually all bacteria and viruses while requiring simple maintenance processes. Furthermore, the AquaTowers are gravity-based filters that do not require electrical power to run. They also include safe drinking water access points with integral soap dispensers for hand washing. In this way, the charity combines the habits of safe water drinking and hand hygiene. Moreover, they run sustainability check-ups to preserve their projects’ performance. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, the Planet Water Foundation has supported the daily drinking water requirements of over 3 million people in 1,600 communities across 25 countries. Also, they have designed the AquaTowers to produce 1,000 liters of drinking water per hour, capable of supporting the daily drinking needs of 1,800 people. For example, in 2021, they reached nearly 200,000 children and their families in 6 countries worldwide with water filtering systems. In the same year, they invested over $1,8 million across their clean water solutions and installed 93 AquaWater projects

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Planet Water Foundation on their website. You can also support the charity by fundraising, becoming a corporate partner, or by following their Twitter account

WaterAid: It All Starts With Clean Water

WaterAid was founded in 1981 by several UK water companies to unite and reach the millions of people living without clean water around the globe. Today, they fund innovative technology to offer people the safe water they need to thrive.

Their impact and transparency ratings: WaterAid has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Our goal is to make clean water and good hygiene a normal part of everyday life for everyone, everywhere.

WaterAid

What they do: WaterAid works with decision-makers in governments, both in the US and internationally, to help communities access clean water and sanitation tools. Furthermore, they install practical technologies like water taps and community toilets so households, schools, and service providers can keep the water systems working sustainably. They also ensure that communities can independently use safe water by training local mechanics and supervisors to maintain the water filtering machines. In addition, they advocate with businesses and legislators to prioritize investment in clean water for their citizens. 

What they’ve achieved: Today, WaterAid works in more than 30 countries from 3 continents to give people access to clean water and break the cycle of poverty. For example, in 2017, they reached 1,5 million people with appropriate clean water solutions. In the same year, they provided safe water filters in 970,000 healthcare centers and 320,000 households, as well as 150,000 learning institutions. Moreover, in 2020, they invested over $12 million to serve 400,000 families from over 1,000 communities with vital water filtration systems.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to WaterAid on their website. Additionally, you can volunteer, join an advocacy campaign, or fundraise while playing video games

Splash: We Clean Water for Kids

Splash was founded in 2007 by Eric Stowe to design child-focused water and sanitation solutions in underserved cities worldwide. Today, they lead a social movement to ensure that children in urban poverty have the resources they need to thrive and realize their full potential.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Splash has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We focus on children because they are the most vulnerable to waterborne illness. Kids living in urban poverty have no option but to drink unsafe water or use dirty toilets. The issue isn’t technology; it’s justice.

Splash

What they do: Splash fights to improve the quality and availability of clean water in the world’s poorest metropolises. To ensure that projects are high-quality, they provide ultra-filtration water systems manufactured by a US company serving businesses worldwide. They also ensure that each filter is durable, low-maintenance, and meets all WHO Guidelines for drinking water quality. Furthermore, they support households and schools with water storage systems and drinking stations to increase the availability of clean water across cities. In addition, they train local mechanics and provide technical assistance and quality testing to make the projects sustainable.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Splash has supported over 1 million children and families in 8 countries across Asia and Africa. Through this, they have reached 2,400 schools, orphanages, hospitals, and shelters with critical water filtration systems. For example, in 2021, in Ethiopia, they installed 134 water filters and 1,200 drinking stations in 84 schools, reaching 170,000 adults and students. In the same year, in Bangladesh, they supported nearly 80,000 people in need by providing 450 drinking stations and 145 water filters across 211 child-caring institutions. They also invested over $9,6 million across their water and sanitation programs.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Splash on their website. You can also support their work by starting a fundraiser, applying for a job, or following their social accounts

Safe Water Network: Solving the Global Water Crisis through Innovation and Collective Action

The Safe Water Network was founded in 2006 by actor Paul Newman and a group of civic leaders to serve communities in developing economies with restricted access to safe water. Today, they work to restore autonomy and agency to disadvantaged people by providing high-quality water, education, and capacity building.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Safe Water Network has a 93% encompass score for Finance and Accountability from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

We envision a world with healthy, thriving communities sustainably managing their own safe water.”

Safe Water Network

What they do: The Safe Water Network builds water systems by partnering directly with individuals and governments to ensure long-lasting impact. They do this by collaborating with local water and sanitation experts to give technical assistance and install water-sourcing systems. Moreover, they train locals to operate and manage clean water projects while establishing local committees to provide oversight and support for the new technology. They also run Digital Operating Platforms to provide long-distance machine monitoring. In addition, they teach women to be safe water advocates in their local communities. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Safe Water Network has served 1,7 million people from nearly 500 communities in India and Ghana by providing safe water solutions. Through this, they have installed 450 clean water stations and nearly 2,500 piped infrastructures to ensure sustainable health impact. To do this, they have been checking 30 parameters of water quality for each station. Furthermore, they have trained 1,700 locals to monitor the systems and advocate for sanitation policies. Additionally, in 2021, they built 1,000 solar panels and 480 automatic dispensers to reach secluded communities with clean water.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Safe Water Network on their website. You can also contribute by participating in their fundraising events or joining their team. In addition, you can start a corporate partnership

The Water Project: Providing Access to Clean Water in Africa

The Water Project was founded in 2006 by Peter Chasse to travel and complete a water initiative after a natural disaster in Kenya. Today, they provide reliable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa who suffer from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Water Project has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Lack of access to safe water and proper sanitation limits education and food production, it harms health and leads to a cycle of poverty. We believe local in-country solutions can end the water crisis, one partnership at a time.

The Water Project

What they do: The Water Project collaborates with local community leaders to implement sustainable water systems. They also educate the villages about the importance and impact of safe water and sanitation to ensure they use the new technologies they receive. In addition, they work with local geologists and governments to find the best spots to drill underground water and install the right water projects. For example, they design water wells and create protective reservoirs for naturally flowing springs. They also build sand dams and catchment tanks that collect and filter rainwater. In addition, they make follow-up inspections to monitor the quality of their projects.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Water Project has implemented water solutions in over 1,000 communities from 6 African countries and India. Through this, they have impacted nearly 790,000 underserved people by installing 2,160 water points for proper drinking solutions. For example, in 2021, they invested nearly $3,8 million in 230 new water projects that gave nearly 100,000 people access to safe water and sanitation. Moreover, they have designed a live map that constantly tracks working water points to ensure long-distance monitoring of their projects and provide transparency for the public. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Water Project on their website. You can also contribute by starting a corporate sponsorship or fundraising. In addition, you can directly sponsor individual water projects.

Thirst Project: Fighting for Universal Access to Clean Water

The Thirst Project was founded in 2008 by Seth Maxwell and a group of seven friends, while they were in college, to raise awareness of the water crisis among fellow students and schools nationwide. Today, they are the world’s largest youth water organization and implement freshwater wells to improve the health of impoverished communities. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Thirst Project has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We work with the support of young people to END the global water crisis and stop easily preventable youth deaths caused by waterborne diseases.”

The Thirst Project

What they do: The Thirst Project works with community members to implement the best-fitting water-sourcing method. For example, they build hand-pump freshwater wells that don’t rely on any external source of power and can be affordably maintained by local communities. They also train locals to repair and monitor the wells to keep them functional for more than 40 years. Moreover, if underground water is unsafe, they install individual Bio-Sand Water Filters in households to filter the water they take from unprotected sources. They also build rain catchment systems and spring conservation tanks in more water-scarce areas. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Thirst Project has built or funded 3,350 water projects in 13 countries, helping over 510,000 people to access clean water solutions. For example, in 2019, they invested over $860,000 in 117 water projects that served 60,000 individuals in Kenya, Uganda, El Salvador, and the Kingdom of eSwatini. In the same year, they implemented 91 water filtration systems that provided safe water to 46,000 individual households in the Kingdom of eSwatini. They also built 13 water projects that served 6,500 community members in Uganda. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Thirst Project on their website. In addition, you can join an internship, shop on their online store, or fundraise

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight for clean water. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to fighting for clean water – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

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PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Diana Stancu

Diana loves to research and write about topics that bring awareness to communities in need. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and considers herself a lifelong learner who strives to increase her knowledge and expertise. Outside of work, she enjoys writing fiction, creating cooking recipes, studying philosophy, and taking sunset photos.

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