The Origin Story

Water For People was born out of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the largest non-profit, scientific, and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water.

In the early 1980s, three water professionals – Ken Miller, Wayne Weiss, and John B. Mannion – envisioned what it would take to bring safe water and sanitation to everyone in the world.

A decade later, the trio with their expertise in water and wastewater along with a larger group of professional and technical peers, established Water For People, an international non-profit based in Denver, Colorado to build a program that would bring lasting solutions to the world’s water crisis.

We are for Water, We are For People

We believe in a world where everyone has lasting access to safe drinking water and sanitation. We engage with local governments, businesses and communities to make clean water available to Everyone Forever.

Beginnings in India

Water For People initiated its India operations in West Bengal in 1996, with a program on arsenic mitigation in the district of North 24 Parganas and Nadia. Based on the lessons learned from the project, Water For People India expanded its initiatives from arsenic mitigation to integrated water and sanitation activities in schools and across disenfranchised communities.

By 2007, Water For People India had adopted a comprehensive strategy to develop and implement sustainable water and sanitation solutions in both West Bengal and Bihar. Since its founding, Water For People India had emerged as a pioneer in delivering programs that cater to the needs of communities, schools, and health care centres in the area of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), continuing to expand its scope and geography.

Today, Water For People India is recognized widely for its integrated approach to designing sustainable water and sanitation infrastructure and services. Our initiatives to expand and strengthen WASH systems have now been implemented in 28 districts in West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Assam, and Odisha. In all, nearly 1.2 million people have been reached through community drinking water and sanitation projects, WASH in public institutions, and market-led approaches to sanitation.

Water For People India Trust (hereafter referred to as Water For People India) was established in 2008 in alignment with the global vision and mission to provide improved access to water and sanitation in rural areas and urban slums. Water For People India is a direct-implementation agency supported by civil societies, local NGO partners, and entrepreneurs.

Our Credo

Water For People India was created to actualize the vision – Every household, community, and public institution (health centres and schools) should have access to safe water and reliable sanitation for generations to come – sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments. We call this impact model Everyone Forever (EF).

Achieving Everyone Forever is possible only when the most vulnerable are empowered. To that end, we design and implement ground-level solutions that help the marginalized communities – rural areas and urban slums – access their share of water resources and directly contribute to their improved health and overall well-being.

Throughout its decade-long existence, Water For People India has been devoted solely to achieving water sufficiency for our billion-plus countrymen. More than a million lives have been changed through these solutions, yet. And we have only just begun!

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