Why isn’t the water reaching the people who need it?

Gary-White-and-Matt-Damon-WaterorgWith the creation of Water.org, the engineer/activist Gary White teamed up with actor Matt Damon to tackle the problem of nearly 1 billion people lacking access to safe water. The conventional approach was to raise charitable donations to drill wells “and basically give water projects away.” Seeing this wasn’t working, White and Damon inquired, Why aren’t charitable efforts succeeding in getting water to where it’s most needed? Turns out subsidies were going to local middlemen who ran the utilities—while the poor were still left having to overpay or walk great distances to get water. Eventually, White and Damon focused on this empowering question: What if local communities could have the means to create their own sources of water? Water.org’s innovative “Water Credit” makes small loans available to people (mostly women) who can then develop or acquire their own water sources. So far it has helped more than a million people worldwide.

See my longer article with an interview with Gary White about this: “How do we get people to care about water?

Tags: , , ,

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter!

About the Author

Innovation expert and questionologist Warren Berger has studied hundreds of the world’s foremost innovators, entrepreneurs, and creative thinkers to learn how they ask questions, generate original ideas, and solve problems. He is the author or co-author of 12 books, including his three books on questioning: A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas; its follow-up THE BOOK OF BEAUTIFUL QUESTIONS: The Powerful Questions That Will Help You Decide, Create, Connect, and Lead; and BEAUTIFUL QUESTIONS IN THE CLASSROOM: Transforming Classrooms Into Cultures of Curiosity and Inquiry. Warren’s writing has appeared in Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, and he writes the “Questionologist” blog for Psychology Today. He lives in Mount Kisco, New York. Follow him on Twitter at @GlimmerGuy and subscribe to his blog posts

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

CommentLuv badge