A Suffolk, Virginia, family of seven and a Crete, Illinois, family of four are now enjoying a clean supply of running water in their homes, thanks to the Water Well Trust and its partnerships with The Chris Long Foundation and the Groundwater Foundation. The Virginia project is the first for the Hometown H2O program, an extension of The Chris Long Foundation’s Waterboys initiative and the result of a partnership with the Water Well Trust and Xylem Inc. announced in late 2019. Working with the Water Well Trust, Hometown H2O funds the drilling of water wells for low-income households that do not have access to water at home or within a reasonable distance.
The Crawford family has four children and one on the way. They were displaced from their home after their water well failed and they could not afford to drill a new, deeper well. The family asked the Water Well Trust for assistance and along with Hometown H2O, Xylem and its partners (Noland Supply of Elizabeth City, NC, a WinSupply company and Creason & Sons Well Service Inc. of Zuni, VA), the new water well was completed within a week.
The Illinois project kicked off the Water Well Trust’s partnership with the Groundwater Foundation, which donated $100,000 (USD) to the Trust in 2019 to drill water wells for low-income families across the US. On July 4, 2019, the Saleh family’s water stopped flowing due to a broken casing, which caused their water well system to be filled with sand. Unable to afford the up-front cost of a new water well, they were forced into costly short-term solutions to provide the family with water. With winter approaching, however, their short-term solutions would be unworkable. The Groundwater Foundation, working with the Water Well Trust, assisted the family throughout the entirety of the project, from soliciting bids from well drillers to the final installation of the system.
Currently, there are 1.5 million Americans lacking complete plumbing and access to clean, safe, affordable drinking water. The Water Well Trust pays for the initial cost of drilling a well and participating families are given a 20-year, one-percent interest loan. The Trust maintains a wait list of American households requesting funding for the drilling of new wells or rehabilitation of non-functioning wells in high-need, low-resource rural areas. Prospective applicants can download the application form and instruction letter from the Water Well Trust website. For more information, visit waterwelltrust.org.