In the scheme of a lifetime, most people are likely to experience some form of “water awakening”—whether it be in the green world that exists on college campuses, doing humanitarian work, or just by following of the media’s depiction of Earth’s dwindling natural resources. We suddenly become aware that the showers we take are too long, or that we could stand to wash the dishes by hand for the night. For me, this awakening occurred rather recently, when I worked for an organization called Project Hearts.
|Ruben Ottenwalder, a native of |
the Dominican Republic
Over the past fifteen years, Ruben has been doing humanitarian work in Baitoa—everything from paying for operations to building houses and cook-stoves. It is only during the past few years that Ruben has decided simple charity is not enough to evolve a community. Now, he is working to empower the local people through personal accountability. The method he uses? The promise of clean water. With water borne diseases directly responsible for millions deaths per year (most of which are children under five), it has become vitally important to intervene at the household level to develop safe water practices. Ruben’s organization, and the many other non-profits like his in other developing countries, use filters like the one shown here—simple ceramic pots injected with metals like silver to purify water up to 99%!
Ceramic filtration vessels sit inside of a 5-gallon bucket.
Nick Ellis is in the Creative Writing program at Goddard College in Vermont. As he completes his BFA, he will be working with Art for Water as Administrative Assistant.