Almost all water supplies in the Dominican Republic are contaminated and it’s estimated over 1.1 million people there struggle to obtain clean water. Before Water@Work founder, Tom Flaim, began constructing water plants in 2008, clean water was physically and economically inaccessible to the poorest people, most of whom are Haitian-born and treated as outcasts. Ingestion of contaminated water and poor sanitation leads to interruption of children’s education, significant loss of income, serious illness, and even death. With your partnership, we can solve the water crisis in the DR and beyond. Give today!
Our work makes an impact in the attainment of more than one of the seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations to be reached by 2030. The obvious alignment for us is with SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, the goal statement of which is: “By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all”. However, since our work focuses on business development, sustainability, and job creation we also have an impact toward achieving SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth. In particular our work is pointed toward Goal 8 Target,8.3 which states: “Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services”. In addition to water production we seek to use the clean water as a resource for further business diversification and development. An example of this are liquid soap and cleaning formulations which have already been developed and sold under the SkyClean brand name from our Agua Alvy plant. Job creation, especially for unemployed local women, results from the establishment of each water plant.
Building Relationships with Local Churches
At the heart of our ministry is our desire to advance the Kingdom of God and share the Gospel. We adhere to the Apostle's Creed as our core belief. In the Dominican Republic, we partner with passionate and talented pastors and work with them to establish church-based water plants. They use the water plants to meet their community's physical needs as they also shepherd their spiritual needs.
Employing Local Talent
Working with our Dominican NGO, Fundacìon Water Work, we identify impoverished communities where water is unavailable or too expensive to buy. In each community, Fundacìon hires and trains locals to operate and distribute the water. Pastors make decisions about pricing and services that are in the best interest of their communities. We are extremely proud to be led by a talented Dominican staff and have the full support of the local communities and government entities.
Utilizing the Right Technology
At Water@Work, we are not interested in a quick fix that will leave a community with inoperative equipment and contaminated water just a few months or years after installation. Too many well-intentioned groups go into an area with temporary solutions and without local buy-in or long-term planning. Our water plants meet all government regulations and are certified by the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Public Health. We employ the best technology available and provide ongoing training. Read about the science behind our water purification process HERE.
Stories abound about the health and social benefits that have accompanied our water plants but our aim has been, and continues to be, the creation of sustainable, small businesses owned by the local church. Sustainability is reached when the water business can pay all of its expenses, provide for maintenance and future repairs, pay the employees a fair wage, and return enough profit to the church to make it worth the time and effort invested. Our water is sold well below market value. Profits are reinvested into businesses and also used for community development programs as the discretion of each local pastor. Read our 2019 Sustainability Report HERE.