Nearly 2 billion people around the world don't have access to clean, sustainable water for their daily needs. If they have access to a water source, it is often contaminated and several miles from their homes. Consuming and bathing in these contaminated waters subjects people to bacteria that can make them sick. The long trek to find water negatively impacts women and children costing hours per day to gather water when they could be in school or building a business. While there are charitable organizations to help, the existing solutions aren't financially sustainable or scalable enough to address the incredible need.
Technology: Solar-powered Deep Water Wells
Solar-powered deep water wells offer the technology solution to provide drinking water in rural areas. Solar panel technology has decreased in cost over the last several years making it a reliable, low-maintenance option for power. Deep water wells provide clean, filtered water directly from deep water aquifers. These aquifers are more reliable than surface water sources and provide clean water, filtered by the earth.
(Photo credit: The Sky Is Not Limited).
Financing: Crowd-sourced Funding
Many of the solar-powered deep water wells funded today are done so by charities. While these charities serve a great function to help people, donations to charities are difficult to sustain over the long-term. Ultimately, donors interests may change leaving the charity constantly seeking new donors. In contrast, We Give Water is using crowd sourcing and the reach of the internet to support the development of our projects.
Combining these three ideas together provides a scalable and sustainable solution to build and maintain water systems in the developing world. We're excited to bring these ideas together to help change the world!
Electronic Payments & Operations
The key to making this concept sustainable and scalable is the ability to collect small amounts of money while dispensing water. This money is used to not only maintain the well, but recycled to fund new projects. Using the electronic payment system developed by eWaterPay, users purchase water credits using mobile devices that are redeemed at the water tap using a token. Rate structures can be developed to ensure water systems are maintained, new projects can be funded and people's minimum water needs are met at a very low cost.