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Drink It Up

A local organization makes a global impact with its water sanitation solutions.

September 2011

It’s easy to take clean water for granted when you live in a country with one of the safest water systems in the world. But since 1991, Denver-based nonprofit Water for People has looked beyond our infrastructure to help support countries in Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America with reliable water and sanitation facilities, as well as hygiene education programs. “Water for People is trying to be a catalytic change agent in the water system,” says CEO Ned Breslin, who was the first Colorado recipient of the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship this past spring. “We not only celebrate that a community gets water on a given day, but we go back later to see that those systems are still running and have the support they need.”

The nonprofit recently announced the launch of its Everyone Commitment, a plan to reach every single person in a designated area by the end of this year—in this case, meaning clean water and sanitation facilities for individuals in Cuchumuela, Bolivia; Chinda, Honduras; and two large areas in eastern India. “In parts of Guatemala and Bolivia, people had not named their kids for five years because they worried they’d pass away,” Breslin says, “but now they’re naming their children at birth.”