Clean Water For the People: DigDeep Brings Water Rights to the Masses
BY JUSTIN FAERMAN
Celebrating access to clean water. photo: digdeepwater.org
You may already know that one of the biggest challenges developing countries face is the widespread lack of access to clean, uncontaminated water. But would it surprise you to learn that 2.2 million Americans don’t have access to running water or basic plumbing. And beyond that, 44 million people in the United States don’t have clean water that’s safe to drink. While many of us often think of water access in the U.S. as a given, this is far from the reality. Across the country, it is largely Black, Latinx, and First People’s households that are most affected by this water gap.
It’s a massive worldwide problem that the government has made little progress on over the years—but a group of young, Los Angeles-based humanitarian visionaries are aiming to change all that by empowering rural communities across the Southwest (and previously across the globe) with water resources and infrastructure to provide clean, running water. DigDeep, which was founded in 2010 by George McGraw, began working with rural communities across the globe to develop access to clean water by providing infrastructure to dig wells and build distribution systems. Today, they focus on improving water access and infrastructure to those in the U.S. that need it most, transforming the quality of life for individuals, families, and schools as a result.
“Clean water is not a privilege,
but a human right“
What’s unique about DigDeep is their philosophy and approach to solving the worldwide water crisis—to them, water is not a privilege, but a human right and one that is best managed by the very people who it is intended for. They simply help communities access their own resources and then empower them to take ownership. It’s a beautiful model that has been massively successful to date, with projects currently operating in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, West Virginia, and Kentucky.DigDeep also has an innovative organizational structure that allows them to pass 100% of donations directly into their projects. An egalitarian mirror of their field model, DigDeep has their own ‘water council’ made up of a group of ‘venture philanthropists’ who generously cover their operating costs so that they can focus on what matters—giving rural communities across the states access to a basic human right—clean water.
About The Author
Justin Faerman is the Co-founder of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine.