Five nonprofit organizations safeguarding our water

August is National Water Quality Month. Learn about it and nonprofits focused on water security.
August 18, 2023
Clair Lofthouse
Technical Writer

“Water, water, everywhere, not a drop to drink.” 
- The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

For a planet with about 71% of its surface covered in water, the Earth has a shockingly scarce fresh water supply. “Of all the water on Earth, more than 99 percent of Earth's water is unusable by humans and many other living things – only about 0.3 percent of our fresh water is found in the surface water of lakes, rivers and swamps” (National Geographic).

We bring this up now in recognition of National Water Quality Awareness Month (August) and to remind you that access to drinkable water and protecting water quality aren’t inconveniences, they’re necessities. That’s why we’re proud to share a quintet of Give Lively member nonprofits that address global water quality issues, doing their part to leave the albatross aloft. 

About National Water Quality Month

Two U.S. acts of Congress were passed in the early 1970s: the Clean Water Act in 1972, making it illegal to dump high amounts of toxic materials into bodies of water; and the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 to further protect the quality of groundwater and public water systems. 

These acts laid the foundation for National Water Quality Month in 2005 by the Environmental Protection Agency with backing by the United Nations. The goal was to “promote civic discourse about how to conserve our natural water sources by starting conversations on what we can do in our own households and communities to ensure that we all have access to safe, clean drinking water for generations to come,” explains the National Water Quality Month website. These conversations are even more vital in light of the Supreme Court decision this May that dealt a significant blow to the Clean Water Act.

Although both National Water Quality Month and the Give Lively member nonprofits we share below are based in the United States, let’s all remember to think globally when addressing water quality issues. 

The nonprofits

International Rivers

Founded in 1985, this organization protects rivers and defends the rights of communities that depend on them: “Free-flowing rivers work like arteries, providing the world’s ecosystems with critical freshwater resources that sustain a higher biodiversity per square mile than almost any other ecosystem. Rivers are crucial to the food security, livelihoods, and cultural traditions of millions, especially indigenous and traditional peoples around the world. Yet freshwater ecosystems are being fragmented, diverted and polluted. Only one-third of the world’s rivers remain free-flowing, and less than 10% of the world’s river basins are protected.” 

We loved how this organization used Impact Stories on a Give Lively-powered Campaign Page to raise more than $40,000 for the Rivers Unite Us 2022 campaign.

Ugandan Water Project 

This nonprofit humanitarian organization works with sponsors in the U.S. to provide water, sanitation and hygiene projects and other catalyst resources to communities in Uganda. Its goal is to implement immediate, cost-effective and tangible relational solutions that empower Ugandans to live the lives for which they were created. 

At the time of writing, Ugandan Water Project has raised more than $73,000 towards its Summer Matching Challenge 2023. The goal is to hit $100,000 by August 31st. 

AQWALIFE Foundation

This organization’s mission is clear from the acronym that forms its name – Access to Quality Water Always. It endeavors to improve lives in underprivileged communities by facilitating access to clean drinking water, education, sanitation and micro-infrastructure. With a heavy interest in climate change adaptation, waterborne disease prevention and advocacy, Aqwalife strives always to provide sustainable solutions for problems that shouldn’t exist. 

Aqwalife used Text-to-Donate (code AQWA) and the Aqwalife 2023 Fundraising Campaign Page to raise more than $95,000 so far toward new wells and water treatment in communities in Ethiopia and Ecuador.  

Alliance for Water Efficiency

This stakeholder-based 501(c)(3) organization is dedicated to the efficient and sustainable use of water. It serves as a North American advocate for water-efficient products and programs, and provides information and assistance on water conservation efforts. The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) partners with its members and other organizations to produce the research, tools, resources and information needed to advance water efficiency in their communities. 

In 2022, it surpassed its fundraising goal of $15,000 to raise $19,883 for the Mary Ann Dickinson Water Sustainability Fund campaign, intended to fund research projects, including the 2022 update of the State Water Efficiency and Conservation Scorecard, which rates all 50 U.S. states for water efficiency policies. 

Agua Para La Vida

Agua Para La Vida is a non-governmental organization that has been helping small rural communities in Nicaragua construct their own drinking water systems since 1987. Originally a California-based group that provided technical assistance, support and volunteers to the Nicaraguan communities, it now supports the development of a local team of technicians capable of managing all aspects of the work: selection of projects, design, collaboration with and training of the beneficiaries, supervision of the construction, maintenance and hygiene education and ultimately the ability to secure its own funding. 

See how it set up its Core Profile fundraising page

See and share more about these organizations on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and X (previously known as Twitter).