Nearly a billion people around the world have no access to clean drinking water.

Every year, 3.6 million die as a result—most of them children. The Clean Water Institute (CWI) does more than just respond to this critical global need; it also empowers Calvin students from a wide range of disciplines to expand their perspective and enact renewal in every corner of God’s kingdom.

The latest

New publication

A December 2021 journal article from the Clean Water Institute explores the possibility of using a subterranean spring capture method to improve water quality in rural Ecuador. Find the article at the H2Open Journal website.

New scholarship available

The Joseph and Sang Jin Kim scholarship is now available to help prospective students consider how they might get involved with the Clean Water Institute! Any prospective Calvin students are welcome to apply. Watch for it through your financial aid application in your list of apply-to scholarships.

What’s the challenge?

Lack of clean drinking water corrodes the critical structure of communities—health, education, business—and sabotages future growth. The destructive effect is similar around the world, but its causes are unique to the history, culture and environment of each region. Any solution must be versatile, adaptable and informed by a deep and wide expertise.

How does CWI answer the challenge?

The causes of this challenge are too diverse for any one, simple solution. That is why the work of CWI is so important—and our holistic, mission-based approach sets us apart.

Transformational for at-risk communities:
Nothing transforms a community more than access to safe drinking water. Clean water not only saves lives; it makes it possible for families, businesses and schools to thrive.

Life-changing for students:
When students participate in a CWI project, they establish a model for service and citizenship that will guide them throughout their lives and careers. CWI challenges students to put their faith and education into practice, fostering tangible renewal in God’s world.

Collaborative and interdisciplinary:
CWI draws on a diversity of fields—from chemistry to psychology to engineering and beyond—to identify solutions. We partner with agencies already doing excellent work and use our resources to amplify their efforts.

Our projects

Three Calvin students work together to reactivate an ancient water system.
Reactivation of Ancient Water Delivery System in Jordan

Calvin archeology and engineering students team up with Jordanian experts to restore an ancient water system and supply water to a community experiencing scarcity.

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Water Disinfection in Ecuador

Calvin chemistry, engineering, and psychology students work with NGOs and local governments to establish best practices for disinfecting and delivering water.

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Students in Ecuador inspecting a garden.
A man distributes water to children and women.
Water Filter Distribution in Liberia

Calvin statistics, GIS, and public health students work alongside Liberian NGOs to map the distribution of water filters and analyze their impact on public health.

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Water Capture and Filtration in Honduras

Calvin geology students and faculty investigate springs and water features to capture more water. Next, they’ll improve access to point source filtration.

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Walking in the high hills of the Honduras country side.
Six men gathered around new field instruments.
Geophysics and Well-Siting

Calvin computer science students work with local communities to build a low-cost and easy-to-use instrumentation and software to identify future drilling sites for wells.

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Sawyer Water Filter Analysis

Calvin biology students work alongside faculty to assess the long-term effectiveness of Sawyer PointOne water filters.

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A biology student works in the lab conducting experiments under a hood.