Thank you for your generous gift! This report will introduce you to the Bensons, their new water system, and the impact you've made in their lives.
Welcome to Northwestern New Mexico, just off of Route 66 near the Continental Divide. The Bensons call this beautiful place home.
The Bensons are a Navajo family of eight. They have three dogs, two cats and love to watch the TV show Friends together. Just like your family, the Bensons look forward to the holidays for good food, laughter and holiday cheer.
But unlike your family, the Bensons struggle to get enough clean water to celebrate anything. For years, the holidays have meant collecting water in sub-zero weather just to take a bath or cook a holiday meal.
But not any more.
Last week the Navajo Water Project brought the Benson family running water for the first time ever. Let's get started!
When we imagine life without clean water, we often think of places like Sub-Saharan Africa - communities that barely resemble our own. But at last count, an estimated 1.7 million Americans still don't have clean, running water or a flush toilet at home.
American families without clean water live lives totally different from yours. They 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.
Water poverty is a big problem on Native reservations. More than 12% of Natives don't have reliable access to water. Compare that number to just .06% of non-Native Americans. On the Navajo Nation, the country's largest Reservation, more than 40% of people don't have a working tap or toilet at home.
When the Navajo people were first settled on this reservation in 1868, running water wasn't a common convenience anywhere in the Western United States. (In fact, 25% of homes across the US still didn't have running water or flushing toilets in 1950).
But while other areas urbanized, invested in infrastructure, and received Federal and State help, the Navajo continued to live as they had before. Theirs is a difficult history marred by abuse and neglect.
DIGDEEP is the only global water organization working on projects here in the US. We're starting that work on the Navajo Nation. By focusing on low-tech, high-impact solutions, DIGDEEP is making a big impact in this area.
Check out these photos from our work at the Benson's house and keep reading for more information on the technology we used.
You are awesome. You really, really are.
Thanks for sharing your hard-earned resources with a family in need. No American should live without clean, running water. Your generosity proves that we're all in this together!
Spread the word about your impact! Just copy this link to your report and post it on Facebook or Instagram - or post this photo.
COPY AND PASTE ME >> http://www.digdeepreports.org/bensons
Olivia and Erickson live here with their four kids - Cory, Cody, Layna and Jaycob - and with Olivia's two sisters, Juliet and Olyssia. Olivia's sisters came to live with her when their father recently passed away.
Olivia and Erik are hard working, loving parents - and they have a warm and welcoming home. We made this video to tell you their incredible story.
CHAPTER: BACA CHAPTER, NAVAJO NATION
LOCATION: PREWITT, NEW MEXICO
GPS: N35.370255 E-108.083541
COMPLETED: NOVEMBER 15, 2016
SOURCE: WATER TRUCK
LOCAL ALLY: ST. BONAVENTURE
PROJECT COST: $6,529.27*
*cost is markedly higher since this system was built as a prototype
We collect a TON of project data; this is just a snapshot.
Every DIGDEEP project uses a Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) that measures the way water access achieves other key goals like health, gender equity, and access to education.
Every DIGDEEP project is community-led and uses locally-appropriate technology. Benefitting families contribute labor and resources, and are trained to use and maintain the equipment we install.
This water system is one small 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.
We're investing 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
DIGDEEP believes in real empowerment, measurable impact and radical transparency.
We use 100% of every donation to support to communities in need. The families we serve do their part too, by contributing supplies and labor.
When we work together, we can do amazing things.
This project uses cistern and pump technology, a reliable water storage and delivery solution for remote areas.
Water is delivered bi-monthly to a 1200 gallon cistern buried two feet underground. By burying the cistern, water is protected from sunlight, contamination and freezing.
Water is then pumped into the home by a Grundfos pump, through a particulate water filter and into a sink and shower. The system also uses small, in line electric water heaters.
Each cistern system is built with the help of the benefitting family, who are taught to maintain and upgrade their system as needed. The Navajo Water Project uses local labor and sources local parts when available.
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 this house. And there are hundreds of families like this one 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.