A Holiday Solution for American Families Without Running Water

Written by on December 5, 2013 in charity, Green, Health, Non-Profit, poverty, World - No comments

Los Angeles, CA (December 5, 2013) - This holiday season, human rights organization DIGDEEP is bringing clean water to over 250 American homes for the first time ever.

Water poverty isScreen Shot 2013-12-04 at 11.56.03 AM closer to home than many Americans imagine. Nearly 40% of Navajo Indians (13% of Natives nationwide) don’t have running water or a toilet. For non-Native Americans, that number is just 0.6%. In fact, while the average household consumption of water in the U.S. reaches 110 gallons per-person, per-day, tens-of-thousands of Navajo use less than 10. Living without a sink or toilet severely limits health, education, personal security, and economic growth. A lack of clean water also contributes to overall poverty; more than 44% of Navajo children live below the poverty line – twice the national average.

“People are becoming more and more aware of the water crisis affecting places like sub-Saharan Africa,” states George McGraw, Executive Director of DIGDEEP. “But water poverty exists right here at home. Water poverty has a zip code. You can call these families… send them a letter. It’s incredible to think that this tremendous injustice exists just hours from major US cities.” This holiday season, DIGDEEP is partnering with St. Bonaventure Indian Mission in Thoreau, NM to bring reliable clean water access to over 250 homes through its Navajo Water Project

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 11.59.04 AMThe community-led project includes a 2000 ft. well, storage facility, and improved local infrastructure. Families will benefit from free, trucked water delivery to their homes in an amount that meets international human rights standards. The project will also provide emergency access to free drinking water on site.

Currently, St. Bonaventure delivers a limited amount of water from a well up to 70 miles away. By the middle of the month, most families are forced to collect additional water from other sources like open livestock troughs.

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Many keep their water in buckets and barrels on their front porches, which are prone to contamination and must be moved inside during the winter. TheNavajo Water Project will provide every home with an elevated water tank and solar heating element, using gravity to feed sinks and toilets year ‘round. As with every DIGDEEP system, the Navajo Water Project is community-led and unique to the people it serves. Active participation by families, Navajo Chapters (local governance), and regulatory bodies will help ensure long-term sustainability.

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The public can support the Navajo Water Project by purchasing a holiday gift. Hand-crafted, limited edition gifts include a Navajo elder serigraph and a decorative vial of soil from the project site, both made by LA artists.The gifts are available online at www.navajowaterproject.org/gifts. The site also features infographics, photographs and a short film on the Navajo faces behind the project by LA creative agency Lenume.

 

ABOUT DIGDEEP WATER                                                                                                                                                        Launched in 2011 by international human rights lawyer George McGraw, DIGDEEP Water is changing the way people think about water. By designing water access projects that go hand-in-hand with its education and advocacy programs, DIGDEEP focuses on solving water poverty in marginalized communities at home and abroad while promoting better water consumption and conservation practices globally. DIGDEEP collaborates with local communities in order to find appropriate, sustainable solutions to water poverty in places like South Sudan, Cameroon, and the United States. Since each community is unique, each one of DIGDEEP’s projects is also unique. 100% of all donations support projects. To learn more visit www.digdeepwater.org.

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Available for Interview:                                                                                                                                                    George McGraw Executive Director, DIGDEEP                                                                                                                  Cindy Howe Navajo Chapter Secretary, Local Project Lead                                                                                       Contact: info@digdeepwater.org                                                                                                                                         Twitter:  @DigDeepH2O