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 of Calvin College (CWICC) 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.
Lack of clean drinking water corrodes the critical structure of communities—health, education, business—and sabotoges 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.
The causes of this challenge are too diverse for any one, simple solution. That is why the work of CWICC 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 CWICC project, they establish a model for service and citizenship that will guide them throughout their lives and careers. CWICC challenges students to put their faith and education into practice, fostering tangible renewal in God’s world.
Collaborative and interdisciplinary:
CWICC 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.
Solutions to the clean water crisis are as unique as the communities that need them. Here’s what our work looks like:
The challenge: Waves of refugees straining an already water-starved environment.
CWICC’s response: Calvin archaeologists and engineers team up with Jordanian experts to restore a 2000-year-old reservoir system.
The challenge: Diverse geography and cultural practices.
CWICC’s response: Calvin chemistry and psychology students work with NGOs and local governments to establish best practices for disinfecting and delivering water.
The challenge: Climate change and destabilizing cultural shifts.
CWICC’s response: Calvin biology and engineering students partner with local consultants to enhance sand filtration techniques.
The challenge: Extreme poverty and war-ravaged infrastructure.
CWICC’s response: Calvin statistics and social work students work alongside Liberian NGOs to analyze the spread and impact of water filters. See a recent news report on our work in Liberia.