How We Work

Eight out of ten people without access to improved water sources live in rural areas. From the start, that’s where we’ve focused our efforts. We work with carefully-chosen local partner organisations to bring clean water to remote areas with the greatest needs and most vulnerable populations.

Our approach

We work with local partners to fund water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs for rural communities around the world. But our work doesn’t stop when construction ends. We remain committed to monitoring, evaluation, and maintenance to ensure that these programs operate sustainably for years to come.

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Our local partners select water point locations based on a variety of factors like geography, assessment of need, community participation, and long-term sustainability.


In addition to the construction process, local partners spend months establishing community buy-in, promoting safe hygiene practices, and building water committee capacity to manage projects.


To ensure that water continues to flow for years to come, we empower local leaders, use strong operations and maintenance structures, collect data on specific WASH indicators, and implement innovative sensor technology.

We’re solution-agnostic

Our partners take existing water sources, terrain, and population into account when choosing a water solution. From household BioSand Filters to piped systems that stretch for miles, we work to make sure we’re funding the most appropriate solution for each community.

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Hand-dug Wells

Skilled laborers dig up to 15 meters by hand to reach aquifers below.

Drilled Wells

A drilling team drills deep into the earth to reach fresh aquifers.

Rainwater Catchments

Gutters on rooftops direct the flow of rainfall into a sanitary holding tank.

Gravity Fed Systems

The force of gravity feeds water into a community from an elevated source.

Piped Systems

Networks of pipes supply water to different community tap stands.

Water Purification Systems

Installed treatment systems remove contaminants from existing systems.

BioSand Filters

Layers of sand and microbacterial film filter out contaminants.

Spring Protections

A system captures and safely stores pure water from a natural spring.


Covered shelters provide safety and privacy for bathroom users.

Local Partners

Our carefully-chosen local partners have a community-centered approach, excellent reporting practices, and years of experience implementing effective, sustainable water projects in their area.

Why does charity: water work with local partners?

We believe that investing in local organizations is the best way to create long-term impact. With years of water, sanitation, and hygiene experience and nuanced knowledge of the regions they serve, our local partners are true experts in their field.

What is charity: water’s relationship with local partners?

Our Water Programs team communicates with our local partners every day to track progress and troubleshoot challenges. Without our global network of local partners and their dedicated staff, charity: water’s work would not be possible.

How are local partners defined?

We work with a variety of locally-based organizations. Some are locally-founded nonprofits operating exclusively in one country. Others are branches of larger international NGOs with local chapters that serve individual countries or regions. In every case, local experts are designing, implementing, and monitoring the work.

Meet Some of Our Local Partners

Chief Driller Kidane Gebremaria leads a drilling rig team in Tigray, Ethiopia. His role often finds him working long hours while covered in dirt, but it’s a job he does with kindness, humility, and so much generosity.

How does charity: water choose local partners?

Our team spends weeks conversing with partners and visiting their program to fully understand how they work. This process ensures that each program has the skills and resources needed to deliver high-quality, sustainable projects to communities in need and report back on every dollar they spend.

What does charity: water expect from local partners?

Our partners share our vision of ending the water crisis and work closely with local communities, leaders, governments, mechanics, and suppliers to accomplish lasting change. In addition to providing safe, sustainable water access to communities in need, our partners also ensure that communities receive comprehensive sanitation and hygiene education to promote long-term health.