An essential resource

Steve Nutzmann couldn’t have known that, less than a week after he trained people in Haiti to use a portable water purifier, the same machine and others, flown by his employer Darley, would provide needed pure water to those impacted by the 7.0 earthquake.

The privilege of fresh water

Americans often take fresh water for granted, but safe drinking water is scarce in many counties and in dire need when a catastrophe strikes. Recent tragedies in Haiti, the Horn of Africa, Indonesia and even domestically in New Orleans illustrate how crucial it is to provide water for not only hydration, but to halt the spread of disease.

"It is important to donate in good times, not just disasters,” stresses Nutzmann."

Focusing on the future

"Recent tragedies in Haiti, the Horn of Africa, Indonesia and even domestically in New Orleans illustrate how crucial it is to provide water for not only hydration, but to halt the spread of disease."

Gregory Anderson, program officer of international programs at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, said there are several steps to responding to the need for safe drinking water.

“While it’s important to supply drinking water for immediate relief, it is also vital to rebuild the water delivery infrastructure for the long term,” Anderson said.

Beyond saving human lives, water is crucial for livestock that supports the economy of many nations, particularly in the Horn of Africa, added Nick Archer, senior director disaster response and security for World Concern, a humanitarian organization.

Proactive preparedness

Many disaster relief organizations are taking a proactive role, hoping countries can mitigate the damage after a crisis by preparing ahead of time by building more wells and better irrigation systems.

“It is important to donate in good times, not just disasters,” stresses Nutzmann.