The mission of Water Charity is to implement immediate, efficient, and practical projects around the world to provide safe water and effective sanitation to those in need.

Conclusion of School Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico

Conclusion of School Flooding Remediation – Mexico This project has been completed under the direction of Tamara Brennan, Ph.D., Executive Director of Sexto Sol. To read about the beginning of this project, CLICK HERE.

The project called for the installation of rain gutters on the roofs of the classrooms as a means to alleviate the seasonal flooding at the Escuela Primaria "Estado de Colima, in El Male’ Chiapas, Mexico.

Tamara reports:

We installed the rain gutters with the very generous help of two volunteers who worked with Francisco Barrios of Sexto Sol. They worked for three days during what was the most frigidly cold weather in years. Several parents helped them over the course of the installation and in the follow-up trips to the community to finish up.

The welder who made the materials donated three days of work with his equipment, which was very generous of him. We had the expert help of a volunteer named David King, who has build skyscrapers in Florida.

Tamara expressed the gratitude of all involved in providing for this major improvement. The school, the community, and Sexto Sol are continuing to seek additional funding to upgrade and maintain the system.

School Flooding Remediation Project – MexicoSchool Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico
School Flooding Remediation Project – MexicoSchool Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico
Sheep – Chiapas,  MexicoSchool Flooding Remediation Project – Mexico

Conclusion of Soak-Away Pit Construction Project – Ghana

Soak-Away Pit Construction Project – GhanaThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Andrew Head. To read about the beginning of this project, CLICK HERE.

The project was developed to prevent malaria by reducing mosquito populations and removing breeding grounds through soak-away pit construction.

Soak-away pits are simple to build and cost effective, as the materials are minimal. Ideally malaria rates will decrease and the community will understand the factors that led to this.

Students were educated in the reasons for soak away pits and how to construct them. They then passed that knowledge on to their families, building pits for their own houses. Neighbors saw the benefits of the pits, and joined in to construct their own.

The project was successful on a number of levels. Pits were built, directly reducing standing water. Students learned about the various ways of reducing malaria, and also the technology of building the pits. Finally, the experience will serve as motivation to the community to undertake further development efforts.

The project was funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust.

Soak-Away Pit Construction Project – GhanaSoak-Away Pit Construction Project – Ghana
Soak-Away Pit Construction Project – GhanaSoak-Away Pit Construction Project – Ghana

Los Uveros Water System Project – Dominican Republic

Ferro-Cement Tank Construction - Dominican RepublicThis project constitutes the first part of the overall Water Charity Ferro-Cement Tanks for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Program. It calls for the construction of an 11,000 liter ferro-cement tank for water storage in the community of Los Uveros, Altamira, Dominican Republic.

The project is under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer and Engineer Gabriel Miller, as part of a larger plan for a comprehensive water system for the entire community.

The village of Los Uveros is located in the mountains of the Cordillera Septentrional in the Dominican Republic. The community suffers from a lack of potable water, and its inhabitants often have to walk long distances to obtain water, which is usually contaminated.

Residents experience severe illness resulting from poor water quality. For several years this community has been struggling to obtain clean water and has solicited the Peace Corps and other organizations for help with their cause.

Gabriel has worked extensively with the community to do a comprehensive assessment, and develop plans for developing a clean reliable water source.

A water committee has been formed and is in the process of being trained. The committee has shown remarkable motivation and commitment. The community has already been able to raise over a thousand dollars on their own. To ensure sustainability, the families have begun to collect user fees as a reserve for needed maintenance.

There are 110 people living in 42 houses who will be served by this project.

Project funds will be used to purchase materials, including rebar, wire mesh, cement, sand, gravel, wire, aluminum lids, plywood, tarp, paint and plumbing fixtures.

The construction of this tank will take 5 days to complete, and is beginning at once. In conjunction with providing a key component for the water system in Los Uveros, the construction of the tank will be used to train Haitian workers on the construction of inexpensive ferro-cement tanks.

To indicate your desire for your contribution to be allocated toward this project, please click the Donate button below.

The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust has graciously offered to provide matching funds for donations contributed for this project.

We acknowledge the generous donation of $1,000 from Henry Polgar, Dunfries, VA, USA, with the dedication:

This donation is made on behalf of the Panamerican-Panafrican Assoc (Japan office) and is inspired by the work of Tim McFarren who has for many years worked on sustainable technologies.

This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion of this project, CLICK HERE.

Ferro-Cement Tanks for the Dominican Republic and Haiti Program

Dominican Republic & Haiti Map Water Charity is pleased to announce our largest and most comprehensive endeavor since we began operation in 2008. The project will result in the construction of three or four ferro-cement tanks for the storage of water at needed locations in the Dominican Republic, followed by at least eight such tanks in Haiti.

We will present the initial concept here, and update it as it progresses. Individual projects under this master concept will be developed and presented separately.

This is a program that we have developed from the ground up after identifying a critical need. In our prior operations, we have sought individual projects that have arisen from specific communities, and have worked to assist in their implementation. In contrast, in this comprehensive program, we have identified widespread generalized need, and have designed a radical new methodology for delivering services to a multitude of communities suffering from a shortage of potable water.

In its simplest form, the concept can be described as follows:

  • We will undertake to build three or four ferro-cement water storage tanks in the Dominican Republic.  The tanks will be built by Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) who have already been trained in the technology, having recently worked together to build two tanks.  The program is being led by Timothy McFarren, Programming and Training Officer, Peace Corps Dominican Republic.
  • In the course of said construction, Haitians living in the Dominican Republic will be trained in the technology by the PCVs, under the direction of a local NGO, Fundacion Educadores Unidos del Cibao, with experience and operations in both countries.  The program is being led by Rafael Cruz.
  • The trained Haitians will return to Haiti, under the technical direction of Rafael Cruz, and build at least eight new ferro-cement tanks there in key locations.

Construction of Ferro-Cement Tank - Dominican Republic Background
The concept arose in an indirect way to accomplish a needed task. Water Charity had undertaken some small projects in Haiti as part of the relief effort after the earthquake. In the course of this, it was recognized that a more substantial long-range development effort needed to be undertaken. The necessity for water storage was seen to be critical in many locations.

At the same time, we had been working with Peace Corps staff in the Dominican Republic on several projects. We learned that they were implementing ferro-cement technology, and were proceeding to train Peace Corps Volunteers in the processes to build the tanks.

The Peace Corps does not have a presence in Haiti. Regulations did not allow Dominican Republic PCVs to travel to Haiti. The idea was born that these trained Volunteers could train Haitians within the Dominican Republic, who would then go back to their country and build tanks.

The Tanks in the Dominican Republic
Individual projects are scheduled to be rolled out and tanks are scheduled to be built sequentially in the Dominican Republic in the following locations and sizes:

  1. Los Uveros – 11,000 liters
  2. El Brison – 15,000 liters
  3. Rio Grande al Medio – 21,000 liters
  4. La Colorada Arriba - 50,000 liters

The Tanks in Haiti
The tanks completed are as follows:

  1. Acul de Pins – 12,000 liters

The Funding
This program became possible in March, 2010, when Water Charity made a presentation of the concept to the ANON Foundation, a Southern California philanthropic organization. What was sought was an endorsement of the concept and a commitment that they would match the contributions of other donors to accomplish the stated mission. Although immediate dollars were not available, we obtained a commitment that sufficient funds will be raised at a fundraiser that they have planned for November, 2010.

The above commitment from ANON, together with the ongoing support of Six Senses Resorts & Spas, was sufficient to allow Water Charity to move forward with the plan and commit its own funds to implement the program, and we set the process in motion.

Every large-scale donor has different requirements and procedures. Some donors have a 45 day review process. Others have money available right away, but have very specific criteria as to location, scope, and benefit.

In view of the conflicting review processes, we determined that this major concept will proceed as a hybrid. Each individual tank will be "sold" as an individual stand-alone project. Each of the tanks so constructed will come under the general methodology developed for the comprehensive plan.

The Technology
Ferro-cement tanks are a reliable and effective way to store large quantities of water for community use. Tanks ranging from 11,000 to 50,000 liters in capacity are custom-built as needed, using readily available materials.

The process entails erecting a structural form of steel wire mesh, covered by layers of cement. The necessary valves and piping are installed as part of the construction.

The process of layering the cement takes about 4 or 5 days, to allow for proper drying and testing. The finished tank can be filled from any available source. The contents of the tank can be purified as needed.

The Benefit
It is estimated that the tanks constructed in the Dominican Republic will serve 1,700 people in fixed communities.

The 8 tanks to be constructed in Haiti, involving a more migrant population, will serve upwards of 4,000 people.

The program is totally scalable, and will result in trained technicians being available to continue to build tanks as needed in Haiti.

Huge benefit is achieved through the volunteer labor provided by the PCVs. Tools need only be purchased once. The trained become trainers. Skills are developed to sequentially build larger tanks, which cost only incrementally more but are much more cost-effective.

Most importantly, a skilled group of Haitian nationals will be available to carry the project forward by implementing it in needed locations in Haiti.

The Plea
We are soliciting funding for the overall concept. At the same time, we are seeking individual donors and partners to participate in the construction of the specific units.

ANON will match donations, so funders will be able to multiply the impact of their contributions.

We have received a commitment from The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust to provide matching funds for the program as well.

We have received a generous donation of $2,000 from Justin Lazard, of New York, USA. These funds will be used for the construction of ferro-cement tanks in Haiti.

Cody Matherne has started an effort, called Race for Water, to raise funds for this project. If you wish for your donation to be credited toward Cody’s fundraising effort, please click on the specially-coded Donate button below.

If you wish to take part in this new and challenging program, please send an email to our COO, Averill Strasser, at, outlining how you would like to help.

Punta Sirain Water System Project – Panama

Punta Sirain Water System Project – PanamaThis project is to provide water for a community through a system comprised of a spring catchment box, an aqueduct system, neighborhood tap stands, and a series of individual home rainwater catchment installations.

The combination of the improved spring source and distribution system, together with the rainwater catchment tanks, will give everyone in the community equitable access to potable water.

This project will be implemented by Peace Corps Volunteer Kaitlin Green, in conjunction with the Punta Sirain Water Committee, and the community at large.

Punta Sirain is a small rural indigenous community of 300 inhabitants. It is located on the tip of the Peninsula Valiente, part of the Comarca Ngöbe-Bugle protected lands, on the Caribbean coast of Panama. East of the Bocas del Toro archipelago and lacking roads, busses, or cars, the area is only accessible via a 90-minute boat ride from Chiriquí Grande or a 2-hour boat ride from Isla Colon. The remoteness and difficult accessibility makes the region tricky and expensive to develop, yet rich with natural beauty and culture.

Landscape - PanamaThe community has an existing gravity-fed aqueduct system. However, due in part to the topography, it is inadequate in size and scope, leaving most homes without easily-accessible water.

The project will start with the improvement of the aqueduct system to better serve those that are connected.

An existing spring box, presently serves a small portion of the community. It is uncovered, and untreated water flows into loose tap stands.

The spring will be protected, and a treatment chamber will be built. Four cement tap stands will be installed at communal posts, about a half-mile away.

Water Project - PanamaThe 40 homes that cannot be served by the aqueduct system will participate in a program to install rainwater catchment systems. All of the homes with zinc roofs, totaling 30, will participate.

The tanks will be industrial-sized manufactured 100-gallon tanks, purchased with project funds. Gutter systems made of PVC will be installed to collect the water. Water will be piped into the kitchens using PVC tubing.

The community will contribute about 1/3 of the project cost, including labor to repair the aqueduct and materials and labor for the construction of the wooden tank stands.

The community will be encouraged to use the communal tap stands as well as the rainwater catchment systems instead of fetching water from unprotected springs and the creek.

The improvements are expected to drastically increase the quantity and quality of the water available in the community, and thereby reduce illness caused by waterborne disease.

The beneficiaries will contribute to the project by investing $5 per drum. Each participating family will be required to attend a workshop regarding water conservation and basic hygiene.

The workshops will be lead by Peace Corps Volunteers and community health promoters. The goal will be to increase knowledge about disease transmission and teach skills to improve household water use and storage.

Skills to be acquired by participants in this project include ownership, managerial leadership, labor and construction planning, volunteerism, education on conservation, disease transmission, and hygiene, as well as maintenance skills.

The implementation of this project will reduce disease, promote overall hygiene and health, give homes individual responsibility for their family’s water supply, and give everyone in the community access to clean water.

The participation of Water Charity in this project has now been funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

Any donations using the Donate button below will go toward additional water and sanitation projects in the Panama.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Water Charity Goes to Washington

Water Events at the Capitol The Chronicles Group/Running Dry Project, in Association with the Embassy of Australia, Metropolitan Water District and the CSIS Global Water Futures Project will be hosting two major water events in Washington, DC. Water Charity is again a co-sponsor.

The first event, entitled “Drought, Water Scarcity & International Security in the 21st Century”, will be held on Wednesday, June 16, 2010, at the U.S. Capitol. It will bring the Executive and Legislative Branches of the U.S. Government together with the public and private sector in order to provide an educational dialogue about drought and water scarcity and its ultimate impact on national security. To read about the event, CLICK HERE.

There will be a special screening of Running Dry: Beyond the Brink, by filmmaker Jim Thebaut. “Running Dry” is a comprehensive public information/education project, established to raise awareness regarding the worsening global humanitarian water crisis. Last year, Jim Thebaut was presented the Humanitarian Award at the Lake Arrowhead Film Festival by Water Charity.

As a follow-up, on Thursday, June 17, 2010 a lunch/panel discussion will be held at the CSIS headquarters. The topic will be “Coping with Drought & Water Scarcity: Lessons Learned from Australia & the United States”. To learn the details of this event, CLICK HERE.

Kologan Agroforestry Project – Togo

Group - TogoThis project uses an agricultural technology known as alley cropping. Trees are planted in alleys and alternated with crops to improve soil quality, improve water retention, prevent erosion, provide wood for fodder and fuel, prevent deforestation, eliminate much labor and thus make a sustainable system of agriculture.

A local river will provide water for needed irrigation, using a system of cisterns, a motorized pump, and movable piping.

This project is being carried out under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Christine Remein.

Seeds - TogoSitchope Cooperative is located in the village of Kologan on the outskirts of the county of Agou, Togo. The cooperative decided to use sustainable agricultural practices in their planting and irrigation, and settled upon a method of agroforestry that will provide for their needs while maintaining the quality of the soil.

Community members are primarily cultivators. The village suffers from deforestation and poor soil quality. As population increases, rainfall and farmable land decrease. Despite daily efforts of the community members, particularly women, to feed their families, malnutrition is a reality.

The cooperative has thus far prepared for the cisterns that will be installed, bought cement for the cisterns, and also planted the tree nursery. In the weeks to come they will build the cisterns, tend to the tree nursery, and buy piping for the irrigation.

Kologan Agroforestry Project – TogoProject funds will be used for the purchase and transportation of seeds and the construction of the irrigation system. The community will provide the labor for the project.

This project will benefit a community of 1,000 people.

A sustainable system of agriculture is invaluable to the beneficiaries of this project. Their livelihood depends on their capacity and ability to yield food from their farms and also make a profit. The system makes good use of the available water, as it closes the nutrient cycle of the soil.

This project has now been funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

Any donations using the Donate button below will go toward additional water and sanitation projects in Togo.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.

Conclusion of Natural Well Development Project - Swaziland

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Serena Parcell. To read about the beginning of this project, CLICK HERE.

The project resulted in the conversion of a local naturally-occurring well into a functioning tap.

Serena reports:

On Wednesday, the 19th of May, we officially opened the completed water project in Phonjwane. The water committee took me and some community members on a tour and ended with a ceremony.

The taps will be opened for public use as soon as the site is visited and blessed by the Chief next week. My time here in Swaziland is winding down (this is my last week in Phonjwane) so I won't be there for the ceremony but I know it will go as well as the rest of the project did.

The community took complete control of the project and work schedule as soon as the money came in and has been hardworking and co-operative throughout.

The following pictures amply demonstrate the success of the project.


--- 1. The gates of the newly-installed fence surrounding the entire project. Because of the presence of water underground, goats and cows (which are set free to roam during the day) are attracted to the delicious grass and trample everything in their way. The fence ended up being a lot of money and a lot of work to install. In the future it will be improved with sticker bushes and branches from the area.

--- 2. Babe Shongwe (the Vice Chairman of the Committee) showing where the main pump and filtering system is. The area is enclosed to prevent any goats who are smart enough to make it past the first barrier from walking on top of it.


--- 3. The quality of the water from the taps is a huge improvement. The minerals present in the groundwater are filtered out, making the water clean enough to drink.

--- 4. The community's water source BEFORE.


--- 5. And AFTER.

--- 6. Community members around one of the taps. Babe Gamedze on the far right (wearing the skin) is the committee Chairman. Babe Mthethwa next to him is the Secretary.

Serena extends the thanks of the committee and community members of Phonjwane to those who made the project possible.

We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing funding for this project.

Conclusion of Community Aqueduct – Dominican Republic

Aqueduct - Los Cacaos, Dominican RepublicThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Andrew Gibbons. To read about the beginning of this project, CLICK HERE.

The project called for a new community aqueduct to be built to bring potable water from a small spring 1 kilometer away to houses of the village of Los Cacaos.

The pipe line was dug and the suspended river crossings were completed. The intake tank was built, followed by a reserve tank. A small pump was installed, pipes were run to the homes, and faucets were installed.

Piping for AqueductTrench for Aqueduct - Dominican Republic

This was a tremendous community effort, incorporating the entire village, the water committee, and various funding sources. As a result, 242 people now have access to safe water.

A letter from the water committee expressed gratitude for the money that went to construct the aqueduct. We again wish to thank The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for providing funding for this project.

Conclusion of Latrines Project – Morocco

Meeting - MoroccoThis project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Moira Alexander. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project took place in Ouled D’Abou, a small douar located in the commune of Ouizeght, south of Missour in the Boulemane Province of Morocco.

The project was designed to accomplish all of the work necessary to ensure that every house in the community had a toilet. It was estimated that 43 new and 19 refurbished residential toilets would be needed.

Capacity building was to be emphasized in the areas of volunteerism, community collaboration, and technical skills such as construction and maintenance of the toilets.

Latrine - MoroccoVarious plans were prepared, depending on the specific needs of the household.

The project called for disseminating supplies to the various households, and providing whatever specific technical help and labor that each family needed.

Community groups and individuals contributed local materials and provided labor for the project.

Moira reported that the best part of the project was working to build the capacity of the men's association, which stepped up and undertook many aspects of the project.

The project objectives were accomplished just as Moira completed her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer and returned home.

On behalf of the people of Ouled D’Abou, (now) Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Moira Alexander, and Water Charity, gratitude is extended to The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust for their contribution which made this project possible.

We are a 501(c)(3) public charity. If you like the work we are doing, we invite you to make a tax-exempt general donation of any amount.

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If you want to make a donation for a specific project, please use the Donate button at the bottom of the designated project page.

If you prefer, you can send a check to:

Water Charity
P.O. Box 368
Crestline, CA 92325

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Water Charity Honored

Water Charity Honored by Metropolitan Water District on World Water Day 2010

Water Charity was honored by the Metroplitan Water District and Friends of United Nations on World Water Day 2010 for our work in helping people obtain clean water worldwide.

WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality

The Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, third edition is now available as one integrated volume incorporating revisions reflected in the First and Second addenda.


Water is the only drink for a wise man.
Henry David Thoreau
US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)