The global water crisis claims 3.4 million lives per year. Thirty-two percent of the world’s population, 2.1 billion people, lack access to safe water. Unsafe water impacts more people than Ebola, malaria, and HIV/AIDS combined. The water crisis is real, but it can be eradicated.
billion people worldwide lack access to safe water at home.
million school days are lost each year to water-related illness. (UNHDR)
Water4 uses faith, innovation and empowerment to reimagine a world free of the water crisis.
When faith, innovation, reimagine, and empower come together, they ignite and make FIRE — powering our vision for a world where safe and living water is available for all.
FIRE is the core of who we are. It’s the fuel for our fight to fully quench the physical and spiritual thirst of those we serve.
Infusing faith in Jesus into everything we do.
The constant pursuit of creative, lasting solutions to complex problems.
Inspiring people to think differently about solutions to the water crisis.
Partnering with local people to solve local problems sustained by local resources.
Water4 President & CEO
A Note From Our CEO
Water4 President & CEO
2018 was such an incredible year at Water4. Together with our partners we’ve continued to prove the impossible is only unthinkable until it’s done. This tenth year was both a year of reflection on our past and a year of vision as we looked forward to what success will look like in the next ten. Water4’s mission to empower local people with local solutions sustained by local resources is not a small one. Thankfully, we serve a big God whose standards are anything but small, and we refuse to settle for “good enough”
Water4 may be a small organization but, like the God we serve, our ambitions are anything but small. We continue to believe the things we consider “basic” in the West should be basic for the “rest.” Beautiful wells, flowing with safe water in convenient locations can and should provide jobs, save lives, and provide opportunities for the love and word of God to transform. We won’t rest until the status quo is broken and our peers begin thinking about cost-effective, long-term sustainability that leads to sustainable outcomes and not just “ticked boxes” as outputs.
This year we’ve seen hundreds of households wake up to water at home, twisting a tap instead of pumping pumps, and filling up safe water with the convenience we expect. At the same time, we’ve incrementally moved toward this goal in every country, establishing formal “pump insurance” plans with communities for handpumps, using microloans for agriculture wells, setting up NUMA bottling centers, and expanding the NUMA piped water network all while training in health, hygiene, and sharing the gospel.
I want you to know how important you are and have been in the changed lives of the people we get to see each day. Each morning the sun rises to the radiant smiles on mothers faces, the laughter of healthy children, and the pride of the water service employee as she laces up her boots for a new day. You are a hero for each of them and your belief and sacrifice for the vision they’re apart of is making a huge difference each day. I can’t wait to see what we do together in 2019 and I want you to know how seriously I take stewarding the resources you’ve entrusted us with for maximum impact. We will see “impossible” be called “difficult” and then “done” thanks to you and our over 400 partners in the 14 countries we serve.
Making It Rain
Water4 knows the challenge in meeting today’s water needs is vast, but the real challenge is meeting the water needs of the next generation. Whether through better and more locally sourced tools and equipment, or working with governments and other local stakeholders, we evolve as the needs of the people we serve change, building solutions that promote self-sufficency over dependency. In 2018, our partners took a huge leap toward our vision for self-sufficency as their business generated $668,808.46 in combined revenue from the following three sources:
Revenue earned through NUMA distribution points and other piped water connections where safe water is sold.
Communities pay a percentage of cost for the installation of hand pumps and ongoing servicing and maintenance through pump insurance programs within communities.
Revenue earned through contacts acquired locally by enterprise partners for the installation of water wells, hand pumps and piped water systems.
Why Piped Water?
2.1 billion people lack safe water at home, and we’ll never see lasting change if we keep throwing solutions on the wall to see what sticks. Water4 is committed to seeing the water crisis sustainably ended and to do that, we’re digging deep in the countries where we work, showing what success looks like and ensuring we can finish what we’ve started.
Watching your child walk 10 minutes to a handpump with a bucket and standing in line isn’t a solution, and it isn’t enough. A scattershot approach with unmeasurable impact doesn’t let us sleep at night. Yes, that clean water is saving lives, but it isn’t providing the dignity that people deserve.
Water4 is partnering with our local enterprises, district governments, local institutions, and other non-profits to see safe water for districts so that no matter where you go in an entire country, you go somewhere with an eradicated water crisis. Everywhere people can afford it, they even have piped water and taps at their homes! It’s the difference between waking up and filling a glass in your slippers and PJ’s instead of lacing up your hiking boots to go fetch water each day.
A solution this size is the way to solve this puzzle, because only by putting this many pieces together in one place can we begin to see what the end looks like. We aren’t satisfied with good intentions, we’re satisfied with a crisis crushed.
With NUMA, we didn’t set out to see costs break even, we set out to provide affordable safe water AND generate revenue to fund more wells. In the “charity” world, doing this is a bit like turning the alchemists’ desire to turn lead to gold, but last yaer we stood at the site in Sierra Leone where we did it! NUMA water profits provided water to a school without the need for our charity WHILE still serving thousands of people with affordable, convenient, safe water!
How Does It Work?
Water4 NUMA networks are designed to serve communities up to 3,000 people. A NUMA network includes a solar powered central NEXUS station with filtration & pumping technology, and up to four NODE extensions linked to the NEXUS to serve as satellite water distribution points. The NEXUS and NODES are designed to serve a) walk-up customers, b) customers who want safe water piped in their homes, and c) institutional customers including schools, clinics and businesses. Donated capital funds the initial construction, while revenue from water sales covers operational and maintenance expenses, ensuring long-term sustainability of each network.
NUMA Filtration System
Contributors Not Consumers
Crossings Community Church
When Dick and Terri Greenly started Water4, Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City was there. From the very beginning, a handful of families at Crossings caught the vision, and it’s been a dynamic and special partnership ever since. Crossings has been walking alongside our partners and impacting lives with safe and living water for 10 years and counting.
In 2018, as Crossings was looking for ways to go even deeper with Water4, one of our partner enterprises came to us with a need for curriculum to help people learn how to prevent the spread of waterborne illness among pregnant mothers, newborn children, and toddlers. An existing curriculum that fit our needs was not available, but 20 Crossings members from various backgrounds in education, health care, and project management stepped up and agreed to help create one from scratch.
Over the next 12 months, those volunteers learned more about sanitation and hygiene in developing nations than anyone would have thought possible. They researched labor and delivery practices in the countries we serve. They identified various learning strategies in oral cultures. They traveled and met with community hygiene trainers from several different Water4 partner enterprises. They spent weekends and evenings together developing, writing and editing, and testing out curriculum.
One of the volunteers, Debbie Lozano, had been looking for ways to volunteer with Water4 since 2008. As a teacher, she didn’t think she had anything to offer: “I knew I wouldn’t be able to help on the well drilling side, so I watched from the sidelines for about 10 years.”
When she saw the article in the church bulletin looking for educators to volunteer, she wondered if it might be her chance to help in some way.
“I went to the meeting and learned about the Baby WaSH project and the need for writing curriculum. And that’s something I’ve done before. It just seemed like a great opportunity… like the Lord was answering my prayer to be a part of the ministry, so it was really exciting.”
For Scott Barrow, it all started with a prayer he heard in a sermon at Crossings, “God use me in your ways.”
An experienced project manager, one of Scott’s contributions was helping the group stay on task as they worked on developing the new curriculum.
“We had so many people working on something that was so nebulous at the beginning. We definitely needed people to help move it along and manage it or we might still be sitting with nothing produced a year later.”
Pastor of Missions and Outreach Ministries at Crossings, Pam Millington, has seen God at work through the willingness of the group to show up and let God use them. “We said, ‘Here’s this opportunity.’ And people responded, ‘I want God to use me. I’ve got some gifts, I don’t know how this is gonna work. I don’t know what’s expected, but I’m willing to show up. I’m willing to stretch and I’m willing to learn.’”
God responded and used a group of people with very little background in international development to create a brand new curriculum that will be used by community hygiene trainers from various Water4 partner enterprises to improve the lives of thousands in the communities they serve.
As moms across rural Africa learn to protect themselves and their children from the spread of disease through safer labor and delivery practices, and countless lives are saved through access to safe water, entire generations now have a new shot at life, all because a group of people at Crossings Community Church decided to get uncomfortable and ask God to use them to make the water crisis history.
Wash Your Hands
Access to safe water is just the beginning. According to USAID, researchers estimate that inadequate hand hygiene results in nearly 300,000 deaths annually. Water access, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) education is critical for ending waterborne diseases in the communities Water4 serves.
WaSH training helps communities understand how handwashing, safe food preparation and proper water storage prevent the spread of waterborne disease. Water4-trained WaSH facilitators use a multi-session, Bible-based curriculum to help communities discover the economic, social and health benefits of safe water and healthy sanitation practices.
Here’s a glimpse at the WaSH impact made possible by your 2018 support.
Faith is the Foundation
We believe God works through the capacity, strength and greatness of ordinary people to eradicate the water crisis — leaving behind lasting peace and reconciliation in its place.
Because of God’s love for us, we have the privilege of sharing His love with others. We recognize the image of God in each person we come in contact with and seek to impact them not only physically through clean water, but also spiritually through the living water.
Life-giving, holistic transformation of communities is only possible through personal obedience to God’s word that transforms individuals and, when practiced in community, will transform the lives of those around these individuals. That’s why we equip our partner enterprises to fully integrate their faith into the life and rhythms of their businesses, families, and communities.
Here’s a glimpse at just two of the many ways the faith of our partners impacted the lives around them in 2018.
NEW PEOPLE ENGAGED WITH
BIBLE STUDIES HELD AT
ENTERPRISE OFFICES AND
Multiplying Your Impact
Starting in 2019, one of our most generous supporters
is covering all non-program costs through 2021. They’re also matching all gifts from new donors up to $1 million.
What does that mean for you?
100% of your donation goes directly to empowering our field partners as we work together to crush the water crisis.
All gifts from new donors or anyone who hasn’t given in the last three years, are also MATCHED up to $1 million!
Find out how you can leave a lasting legacy through the Water4 endowment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.