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Waves for Water: Nonprofit Spotlight

Waves for Water: Nonprofit Spotlight

January 11, 2024 by Giving Assistant Editorial Team

Three in 10 people globally lack access to safe, readily available water at home.

This is 28% of the world’s population.

Without a reliable water source, just drinking, bathing or making dinner become a hurdle in their day. And the scarcity only gets worse in disasters that strike communities around the world. 

Enter Waves for Water.

What is Waves for Water?

Waves for Water is a nonprofit that provides water filters to those in need.

The MVP Filtration system is the fastest, easiest, and most cost-efficient way to get pure potable water to communities in need. At 0.1 micron absolute, it’s impossible for any bacteria, protozoa or cysts to pass through the filter.

The filters contain a high number of tiny ‘U’-shaped, hollow fiber micro-tubes that trap contaminants while allowing decontaminated water to freely pass through at a high flow rate.

One filter can provide up to 100 people with clean water for up to five5 years or one million gallons, whichever comes first.


Jon Rose was aboard a boat off the coast of Sumatra during a surf trip in September 2009 when he felt a slight shake. 

He had no way of knowing at the time, but a 7.6 earthquake had destroyed the nearby city of Padang – leaving more than 100,000 homeless – until he came to shore and saw the devastated city.

Jon happened to be en route to Bali to deliver 10 water filters for what would have been the first Waves For Water project. But with tragedy striking Sumatra, he went into Padang to get water filters into the hands of rescue workers. 

That was really the start of Waves For Water.

Now, Waves For Water works on the front lines to provide access to clean water to communities in need around the world.

In addition to their primary focus around clean water, they assist disaster relief efforts globally, working directly with world leaders and strategic partners who take a no-nonsense approach to global change.

Project Examples

1. Puerto Rico Relief

Waves for Water went to PuertoPuetro Rico to help rebuild after Hurricane Irma. On day one, they visited a family farm to finish a water catchment system and implement five filters – training the family and a few neighbors on the filters so they could be used in a classroom/community center.

Day two they met with 10 community leaders and helped them implement three filters each (30 total) after an in-depth training and conversation on the benefits of using the filter.

With these conversations, Waves for Water gained access to a school, a fire department, and multiple neighborhoods, building a network for lasting change.

2. Courier Program

The Courier Program has one goal: empower the masses to help solve the world water crisis. How? Piggyback travelers that are already going to places with water needs, arm them with a water filter and the knowledge of how to implement it into a small community.

Climbing trip to Thailand? Pack a few filters in your duffel. Going to India on business? The filters will fit right in your briefcase.

The idea isn’t to get one person to offload 100 filters and call it a day. If 100,000 travelers each pack 1-10 filters and deliver them around the globe, it creates a ripple effect of clean water and global connectivity.

Impact and Future Plans

Making waves.

In the past 7 years, Waves for Water has worked in 44 countries, with active programs in 23, and have responded to 33 disasters globally. With over 155 programs consisting of water filtration systems (150,000+ filters implemented), wells and rainwater harvesting systems, it’s impacted the lives of up to 3,750,000 people.

Their goal is simple: to get clean water to every single person who needs it.

The Courier Program has successfully implemented filtration systems in 90 countries, including Haiti, Indonesia, Chile, Pakistan, and Bali. Each of these examples is being used as success models that can be applied worldwide.

In Puerto Rico, they’ve implemented over 7,000 filters impacting over 195,000 people to date. They’ve also installed 120 cisterns across the island and five water catchment systems in farms and community gardens.

Waves for Water: Nonprofit Spotlight Image 1
Waves for Water Crew

How to Donate

Give water, give life.

  1. First, sign up for a Giving Assistant account.
  2. Select Waves for Water on your Giving Assistant account settings menu.
  3. Choose how much of your balance from cash-back rewards you’d like to donate.
  4. The next time you shop using Giving Assistant and earn cash back you’ll automatically donate your set percentage to Waves for Water.

Giving Assistant members interested in donating to Waves for Water can choose just a portion (or all!) of their cash back earnings to go to Waves for Water.

If you need more help then you can see how to use Giving Assistant to shop online and donate to a nonprofit here.

If you haven’t already you can also download the Giving Assistant button cash back extension for your desktop browser.

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This will help you to start easily support Waves for Water AND save money on your everyday online purchases at thousands of online retailers.

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If you’d like to learn more about supporting clean water, visit wavesforwater.org.