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What We Stand For

Our Vision

A world where every person has access to reliable and safe water and sanitation services.

Our Mission

Water For People exists to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments.

our values

Our values are based on demonstrating integrity in all we do.

Values Icon_1-Collective Transformation

Collective Transformation

We believe in the power of collective action. 

To proactively challenge the status quo, we share our strengths and learnings with partners and embrace new ideas. We believe collaboration leads to richer ideas and more robust solutions.

Values Icon_2-Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship

We are committed to being responsible stewards of the environment.

We fight growing environmental inequities and are intentional in our partnerships and decision-making around environmental practices. We believe climate action and protection of water resources is essential for the long-term health of the planet for future generations.

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We act honestly and transparently to inspire trust.

Our commitment to our values is unwavering in how we relate to each other (we walk the talk) and in how we do our work and what it costs. We construct and support systems that create a fair and decent world and we do what is right in the most efficient and accountable manner.

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We encourage brave exploration of new ideas and informed risk-taking.

We believe being intentional and stepping into the unknown is the cornerstone of innovation. We foster a culture of creative problem-solving and open communication to proactively discuss hard topics for continuous evolution.

Values Icon_5-Amplify Voices

Amplify All Voices

By putting people first, celebrating diversity, and pursuing justice, we prioritize our shared humanity.

We support the meaningful participation and autonomy of individuals from all backgrounds. We amplify local voices while investing in the well-being, skills, and opportunities of all.

Where it All Began

Water and sanitation is in our DNA

The idea behind Water For People began in the early 1980s, with three people who wanted to use their expertise to build a better world.

Ken Miller, Wayne Weiss, and John B. "Jack" Mannion had spent their entire careers working in water and wastewater, and they each believed it was possible for everyone in the world to have access to safe water and sanitation services. This was no pipe dream – this was real conviction supported by decades of experience. In 1991, these three men came together with others in their industries to create Water For People, an international nonprofit based in Denver, Colorado. Using their networks, knowledge, and experience, they began to build a program that would bring lasting solutions to the world’s water crisis.

Today, Water For People continues to rely on strong ties to professionals in the water industry. These partnerships ensure the solutions we provide are grounded in the expertise of water and wastewater experts from around the world.

You can learn more about our story in this e-book celebrating our 30th Anniversary.

Our Water Industry Roots

Water For People was born out of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the largest nonprofit, scientific, and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water.

We continue to have a strong partnership with AWWA, the Water Environment Federation, the National Association of Water Companies, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, and the US Water Alliance.

These partners help us ensure high-quality drinking water and sanitation services are available to Everyone Forever.

water tank | Nonprofit in Denver | Water For People

Logo of AWWA with American Water Works Association text

AWWA's mission is to utilize the full spectrum of the water community from public water and wastewater systems, to environmental advocates, scientists, and academicians. AWWA also takes great pride in helping establish several preeminent organizations dedicated to safe water, including the founding Water For People in 1991 and subsequent support for the last 30 years.

The logo of Water Environment Federation with text "Water Environment Federation: the water quality people"

WEF's mission is to connect and enrich the expertise of water professionals, increase the awareness of the impact and value of water, and provide a platform for water sector innovation. Water For People is proud to be a WEF Charity of Choice.