Wednesday, November 5, 2008

For those with questions...

I went to charity: water and clicked on their FAQ page. For those of you who haven't done this, I think it may be helpful. This is a LEGIT organization. Several people have commented that they know the founder of this organization. I am copying and pasting the FAQ page right her for you to read. If you have any other questions, I encourage you to email them at Or go to their website and click on "Contact Us". There you will find a few different ways to contac them.

Q: What is charity: water?
A: charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

Q: What’s this bottle and why is it $20?
A: True, it may be the most expensive bottle of water you’ll ever buy, but there’s nothing special about the water or the packaging. It’s what the money does that’s special. 100 percent of the proceeds directly fund freshwater well projects in Africa, South Asia and Central America. Just one bottle of water can give someone clean water for 20 years.

Q: How can charity: water give away 100% of the money raised?
A: charity: water is underwritten by private donors and board members who support the exhibitions, educational efforts and administrative costs of the organization. We also work with sponsors and solicit in-kind gifts. For example, the water that charity: water sells costs 45 cents but all $20 is used for the water projects. Other donors have donated the printing of photographs for exhibitions, trucks, storage space, printing and more.

Q: What does charity: water do with the money it raises?
A: charity: water uses 100% of the money raised to directly fund freshwater wells and basic sanitation projects in some of the poorest communities in the world.

Q: How many people can a well serve?
A: Most wells will give between 500 - 1000 people clean water for 15 - 20 years. Some serve communities as large as 3000. The wells are between 30- 300 feet deep, and tap into the clean groundwater aquifers. Hand pumps that require no electricity or gas are installed in most cases, and can pump more than 1 million gallons of clean water a year.

Q: Do the wells always find water?
A: Using hydrologists and water experts, our drilling partners usually find water 90-95% of the time. It differs from area to area how far they need to dig for water. But they almost always find the underground aquifer.

Q: Is there a sufficient water table in the countries you are working in?
A: Yes. Surprisingly, some countries in Africa have a better water table than the United States or Europe. However, most communities don’t have the money or equipment to realize the underground resource.

Q: Do you just dig the well and leave? What if it breaks?
A: Sustainability is key to the work of charity: and the partners we fund. We don’t just dig and leave. We strive hard to build long lasting relationships and work with local community leaders to ensure that there is responsibility for communicating any faults with the wells we build. The pumps have only a few inexpensive moving parts and can be maintained. Trained water committees are essential to sustainable projects.

Q: How can people be certain that the money goes where it’s supposed to?
A: charity: water has a hands-on approach to its projects, working closely with its partners across the globe. Finding efficient and effective non-profit partners on the ground is an important first step. Then, projects are monitored through field reports and frequent site visits. Additionally, charity: enlists the help of volunteers who pay their own way to the field and “prove” with photographs and videos, that the wells have been constructed and function correctly. Through these reports and site visits, we are able to provide GPS coordinates and photo proof of all projects sites.

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