Combating the world water crisis through Wine To Water

Alan Lloyd, CIH, CSP, ENV SP, serves as Pennoni’s Principal Industrial Hygienist and Associate Vice President providing environmental and industrial hygiene consulting services for more than 20 years.

According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water while 4.5 billion lack sanitation services. Water gives life to so much more than we often realize. Without it, food insecurity is all too common, children often cannot pursue their educations, and women spend most of their time trying to obtain this scarce resource. Water is just the beginning. When there is no water, what does that lead to?

Wine To Water is a non-profit organization that raises funds to combat the world water crisis and executes its own programs in the field as well. Currently, Wine To Water has three international offices in Nepal, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia. In each of these three countries, Wine To Water employs qualified local people who work full time toward sustainable clean water solutions catered to the specific country’s needs.

One of Wine To Water’s most important programs is the implementation of the Sawyer filter. Wine To Water works with corporate partners like Pennoni to help fund, construct, and ship the filters to areas that lack access to clean water.

Sawyer’s simple, portable water filters are a game changer when it comes to ensuring that every individual and community has access to clean water. Sawyer filters are point-of-use water filters, which transform dirty water into fresh, safe drinking water in a matter of seconds. They remove 99.99999% of bacteria and protozoa, including disease-causing organisms such as salmonella, cholera, E. coli, giardia, and cryptosporidium. 

I was introduced to Wine To Water in 2015 through David Cuthbert, the current CEO. Dave and I were friends through our church in southern New Jersey. As an environmentalist, a father, and an avid traveler, I was immediately attracted to Wine To Water’s mission. I’ve been blessed to serve with them in Uganda, Nepal, and plan to go to the Dominican Republic in 2020.

In November, Pennoni’s Haddon Heights, NJ office completed a filter build event in which a team of more than 30 employees put together 25 Sawyer filters. The filters were assembled to be distributed to the Bahamas in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian. Each of the filters our team assembled is guaranteed to provide 100,000 gallons of clean water, and if properly cleaned and maintained, can last up to 10 years.

Spending time with my colleagues to discuss the global water crisis and assembling filters was so rewarding for me. Many people don’t realize how bad the water crisis really is because we don’t see it in our communities, and I saw the emotions everyone felt when we were talking about how many children die every day due to contaminated water.

It starts with clean water, but the impact goes so far beyond that. When an individual, a family, or a community has clean water, there is a major ripple effect that impacts everyone. Children can go to school because they’re no longer sick from drinking contaminated water. Families can have gardens that provide enough food to enjoy with one another and sell at the markets. Families have more time together because they are not searching for water. It all starts with water.

Relationships are the key to bringing people together to do good. Wine To Water and Pennoni are working together to make a lasting difference in the world. The focus is water, but it is through relationships we have created that we are able to do so much more.

The work that we are doing is changing lives in so many ways, and it’s an honor to get to be a part of something so powerful. No matter where you come from, what your passions may be, take the next step with us in going beyond water. Let’s do it together.


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