July 6, 2010

Clean Water in Abundance Thanks to a Special Organization

The average American uses 170 gallons of water per day around the house.

photo: flickr.com

In the U.S., water is a luxury.  The average family of four uses 12,775 gallons of water per year just to flush the toilet! Let me ask you this: would you be willing to spend hours every day walking miles to collect your water?

Around the globe, millions of women and children do just that–about 40 pounds strapped on their back–keeping them from school and work. Their average water use: 5 gallons per day. I’d have to drink at least 3 just to recover from such rigorous effort. Imagine carrying 170 gallons every day. For miles (even a half mile). Not gonna happen.

One billion people have no access to clean water — that would equate to one in six U.S. citizens!

The not-for-profit Abundant Water (AW) believes in the possibility of clean water. In abundance.

Water is essential to healthy and sustainable communities. A safe water supply is integral to agricultural, urban and rural life and greatly affects an individual’s health as well as children’s growth and community viability. Securing a safe and healthy water supply has profound health benefits for individuals and also aids in the development and independence of communities.


Founded by 29-year old Sunny Forsyth, AW is a community from all walks of life and continents, working together to facilitate the training of village potters in the manufacture of clay-pot water filters (developed in Canberra, Australia) that remove bacteria found in dirty water.

“It’s incredible to think that in this day and age, unclean drinking water still kills more people than war,” says Forsyth.

The filters, amazingly enough, are made from natural materials found everywhere. Dirt and coffee grounds are just one possible mixture — fired in burning cow dung — demonstrated in the short video below:

AW got their feet wet (pardon the play on words) in Lao People’s Democratic Republic following a cholera outbreak and trained a local potter in the technique of making the clay pot water filters so that she may train other local potters.

“Using this relatively simple clay pot system, we can remove bacteria that cause cholera, typhoid and dysentary, among others,” according to Forsyth. “Importantly, a key part of our approach is training local potters to produce these filters themselves–thus providing sustainable income as well as a lifetime supply of clean drinking water.”

The United Nations has set a target to halve the number of people without access to clean drinking water by 2015… that means around 125,000 people per day.

AW aims to make a contribution to this goal. You can help by donating to Abundant Water.

More about Abundant Water. Sunny Forsyth created Abundant Water in 2008 when he became aware of the lack of access to safe drinking water in rural communities in Laos while working as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development.

“We are learning that the true meaning of ‘abundance’ is generosity and sharing. We are finding that it is not the scarcity of resources that limits development and progress but the unwillingness to share our knowledge and our lives. Through collaborating on this project we are breaking down barriers and borders and discovering our humanity and our global community.”

Currently, a training regime is under development to share the technology and model with Fremma, a Ugandan national, to introduce the Abundant Water model to the Nakivale Refugee Camp in Uganda. A training regime is also being developed with the Yurauna Centre at the Canberra Institute of Technology to share the technology and model with Indigenous Australian potters.

To learn more about Abundant Water, visit their website at abundantwater.org. Please join their facebook page and follow them on twitter @abundantwater.

Read 3 Comments and Reply

Read 3 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Lynn J. Broderick  |  Contribution: 36,680