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Water Leadership - It Takes All to Be One

Water Leadership - It Takes All to Be One

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

– John F. Kennedy

In 2007, One Drop emerged as the brainchild of one man, in awe of our blue Earth and its unifying element: water. Guided by a vision of a sustainable future with safe water for all, we championed projects that will soon have transformed the lives of more than 3 million people worldwide.

While some would dismiss this vision as one individual’s philanthropic dream, the reality is that water’s a fundamental human right—and all 8 billion of us are entitled to it. In the face of a major water and climate crisis, we must drive forward new solutions that respond to our most basic needs, now and forever.

Inaction simply isn’t an option. So, what determines proper action?

Investing in Sustainability

At the turn of the 21st century, 1.9 billion people lived in severely water-scarce areas. In 2050, the number will rise to 3.2 billion.1

From floods to forest fires, we are now witnessing how climate change exacerbates water challenges, damaging wells, waterpoints, and sanitation facilities worldwide. But in this ever-changing world, resilient infrastructure is only part of the solution.

Kids running in San Pedro, Guatemala

Achieving sustainability in the water sector requires us to see the bigger picture. It requires us to re-think our traditional models and explore new solutions alongside private, public, and philanthropic organizations—all of which have a crucial role to play in safeguarding our future.

Water challenges require collective action, which can only occur if we nurture the right relationships and establish the appropriate conditions for change. We are shaping this environment, enabling ourselves to grow stronger alongside our supporters and those we stand with.

– Lisa Clowery, Co-CEO, One Drop Foundation

Honouring Water and Culture – The Indigenous Water Allyship

In Canada, where warming is occurring at more than twice the global rate,2 many Indigenous communities are being disproportionately affected by water issues.

Recognizing this injustice, One Drop and the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) are dedicated to fostering partnerships, establishing relationships with Indigenous rights and title holders, and collaboratively designing programs that deepen understanding of water-related issues while enabling equitable access to water.

Young Indigenous Ambassadors creating a mural

In 2024, as part of the Indigenous Youth, Art and Water Initiative,3 we are honoured to collaborate with 9 young Indigenous artists and their local supporting organizations through various social art programs centred around water and climate issues, promoting the capacity of Indigenous youth to influence and lead in these areas.

Building on our Successes – Focus on Latin America

Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean have the largest freshwater resources per capita, a third of the region's population is cut off from sustained access to drinking water.

This is why, in 2016, the One Drop Foundation rallied a network of change-makers to build the Lazos de Agua Program—an initiative that would go on to surpass its objectives and change the lives of more than 235,000 people in Latin America.

Smiling kids in Mexico

Drawing on this success, One Drop and Lazos de Agua partners (the Inter-American Development Bank, the FEMSA Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation) are now bolstering their efforts through a second phase of the program, which is slated to enable access to sustainable water services for an additional 1 million people by 2030.

Water is the thread that weaves through our economies, environments, and communities. By combining our knowledge, resources, and efforts, we can take collective action towards a water-secure future.
– Ernenek Duran, Co-CEO, One Drop Foundation

Partner with us

Uniting for Change

Ensuring water sustainability is a complex challenge. While One Drop specializes in solving this challenge, we never do it alone.

Solving humanity’s greatest challenges requires us all to work cohesively, as a system of individuals and organizations who understand the many links between water, climate, and culture.

The world is changing, and so must we. Water has the power to unite us in this change, spark innovation, and ensure the sustainability of life on Earth.

Every drop counts. Get involved and help make a difference.

Donate today

1. World Meteorological Organization (WMO), United in Science 2020.
2. Government of Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada
3. The Indigenous Youth, Art and Water Initiative (IYAWI) constitutes the first phase of the Indigenous Water Allyship, a long-term program to improve living conditions and health in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities in Canada

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