Thank you for your support! This report will introduce you to the first ever Community Plumbing Challenge to be hosted in the United States, and the impact of the project for residents in the Navajo Nation chapter of Baca-Prewitt.
Welcome to Northwestern New Mexico, USA: just off of Route 66, near the Continental Divide.
Many households across Baca-Prewitt chapter have always struggled to get enough clean water to do basic things like take a bath or cook a meal.
But not any more.
All of that changed when you supported the IWSH Foundation’s pilot Community Plumbing Challenge collaboration with DIGDEEP.
We've prepared this report to show you your impact. Let's get started!
At last count, an estimated 1.7 million Americans still don't have clean, running water or a flush toilet at home.
The Navajo Nation is the largest land area home to a Native American tribe today – an area larger than 10 of the 50 United States of America. 40% of the Navajo Nation population (approximately 69,600 people) live without running water or a toilet.
Daily life for many of these Navajo families is to wake up and collect water from a source outside their home, fetching it in buckets and boiling it on the stove. When desperate, many haul water from unsafe sources contaminated with bacteria, arsenic or even uranium.
IWSH were excited to connect the international Community Plumbing Challenge program with the Navajo Water Project intiative of DIGDEEP: the only global water organization working on projects in the US. Over the course of an intensive, week-long assignment in October 2018 we addressed a range of bathroom and kitchen renovations for local residents, including the installation of new basins, taps, toilets, water tanks, water pumps, and hot and cold water pipework, plus installation of and connection to new wastewater systems.
Check out these photos from the project and keep reading for more information on the impact we made together.
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CPC Navajo Nation, 2018 commenced with a Healthabitat licensed Housing for Health survey-fix that tested and checked 250 essential safety and health hardware items in each house. This work was completed by a team of 4 local people led by a Team Leader. The local team members received some preliminary safety, testing and fix training.
The survey uses defined, standard, and repeatable tests of a house and surrounding environment, to collect accurate detailed data in order to ensure that small-scale immediate improvement goes hand-in-hand with careful documentation of longer-term needs and basic housing faults.
The results of the tests were entered into an on-site database, and work lists for the CPC trades team prepared immediately.
To the right is a summary of key housing for health data from this project. The data compares the functionality of key items of ‘health hardware’ in all houses collected at the commencement of the CPC week by the survey-fix team, with data showing improvements made over the week as a direct result of the CPC trades team fix work.
Learn more about Housing For Health here.
A total of 10 homes across the Baca-Prewitt chapter were nominated by DigDeep for the pilot Community Plumbing Challenge, Navajo Nation collaboration. None of the homes had adequate sanitation systems, running water or safe electrical systems. By the end of the week, they all had new sanitation and leeching systems and safe electrical systems, and nine of the 10 had running water.
We sincerely thank each household and their extended families for welcoming our trades team to the Navajo Nation, and their co-operation in the project.
This Community Plumbing Challenge event was presented as part of the larger Navajo Water Project; a multi-million dollar initiative to bring clean, running water to hundreds of families in Northwest New Mexico.
Through the Navajo Water Project, DigDeep continue to invest in home water systems, solar solutions, water trucking programs and new clean water sources like wells.
Explore the whole Navajo Water project by visiting the website… digdeep.org/navajo
… or, find out more about the international Community Plumbing Challenge by visiting the website commplumbing.org
"Most people who are living in the United States, and outside, don’t know that there are many Americans that don’t have running water."
Water Is Life is our official documentary of the pilot Community Plumbing Challenge, Navajo Nation project. Shot over the course of the event, the video shares insights from local residents alongside the emotional journey of the skilled tradespeople involved, many of whom had travelled from throughout the United States and as far as away as Australia and South Africa to volunteer their efforts and expertise.
Watch on YouTube, here.
IWSH is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that harnesses the skills and expertise of water industry professionals, organizations and manufacturers to support critical water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives worldwide. We do this by tapping into over 100 years of industry experience to develop local infrastructure, improve governance, and create conditions for better public health and economic outcomes.
Through the Community Plumbing Challenge, IWSH works with local and international partners to deliver life-changing, scalable interventions in partnership with host communities. Each Community Plumbing Challenge is designed to demonstrate the integral role that industry and government must play in sustainably solving longstanding water, sanitation, and plumbing challenges.
Every Community Plumbing Challenge (CPC) is designed to create unique opportunities for water professionals to gain experience and to learn new skills by working directly with international peers and industry experts.
Our pilot Navajo Nation project – the first CPC to be presented in the United States – assembled an international, multi-disciplined team of skilled tradespeople, primarily from Plumbing backgrounds but also from Electrical, plus other engineering and construction backgrounds.
We thank the following volunteers for their efforts and energy over the course of the project:
CHAPTER: BACA/PREWITT CHAPTER, NAVAJO NATION
LOCATION: NEW MEXICO
GPS: 35.361256, -108.062992
COMPLETED: OCTOBER 2018
LOCAL ALLY: ST. BONAVENTURE
This edition of the Community Plumbing Challenge, Navajo Nation was hosted by the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School in Thoreau, New Mexico.
Every DIGDEEP project is community-led and uses locally-appropriate technology. Benefiting families contribute labor and resources, participate in the installation, and are trained to use and maintain the equipment installed.
IWSH and DIGDEEP share the view that when we work together, we can do amazing things. We wish to extend huge thanks to the following sponsors and partners, without whose generous support, material contributions and donations this Community Plumbing Challenge would not have been possible.
LIXIL (American Standard)
IAPMO (International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials)
United Association Local 412 (NM)
NITC (National Inspection Testing Certification)
PIPE (Piping Industry Progress & Education Trust Fund)
UA (United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada)
World Plumbing Council
ASPE (American Society of Plumbing Engineers)
MCAA (Mechanical Contractors Association of America)
PCA (Plumbing Contractors of America)
PICAC (Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre)
PHCC Educational Foundation (Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association)
Reliance Worldwide Corporation / Sharkbite Plumbing Solutions
St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School
UA Plumbers & Gasfitters Local 12 (MA)
UA Plumbers Local 68 (TX)
UA Plumbers Local 78 (CA)
UA Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 400 (WI)
PHCC Educational Foundation (Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association)
UA Pipeliners Local 798 (OK)
Now that you've seen the incredible impact your gift can have, why not give again?
It costs $14 a month to deliver water to a house in Baca-Prewitt. And there are hundreds of families waiting for a water system of their own.
We'll use 100% of your gift on another project like this one, and we'll send you another impact report.
IWSH’s work, including the international Community Plumbing Challenge, is made possible by financial donations and the generous contribution of materials and expertise from across the global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector.