I AM H2O : : Our Strategy


""Our Strategy" "

IAMH2O is focused on combating the global water crisis on two fronts:

(1) Working to establish sustainable projects in global communities that are most highly impacted by water scarcity and;
(2) Working locally to raise awareness of worldwide water security issues.

Working Overseas in the African Communities

The IAMH2O team is establishing partnerships with various African communities in need of development assistance.

Prospective partners are being identified in a variety of ways, including connections established through conference attendance, previous overseas work, and academic environments dedicated to development research.

The use of online forums devoted to water security, including IAMH2O’s own Facebook page, has also proven valuable as a means of establishing contact with potential partner communities.

Once overseas partners have been identified, cooperative development work will proceed through a five-phase action plan, which addresses the 5 pillars of development.

The idea of sustainable development grew from numerous environmental movements in earlier decades. Summits such as the Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil, 1992, were major international meetings to bring sustainable development to the mainstream.

However, the record on moving towards sustainability so far appears to have been quite poor. The concept of sustainability means many different things to different people, and a large part of humanity around the world still live without access to basic necessities. (Sustainable Development Introduction)

IAMH2O is committed to working with communities to create a 5 phased plan to utilize clean water for sustainable development and human capacity building.

IAMH2O 5 phases are:

ACCESS:In the first phase of development, IAMH2O works together with a partner community to determine the most appropriate and

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sustainable means of providing access to clean water. A variety of water delivery and water purification options will be available to members of the local community who will help to determine the most appropriate options based on factors such as local geography, climate, financial capacity, product availability, infrastructure, and culture. By seeking input from local community members at the very initial stages of development and continuing to rely on their input throughout the development process, IAMH2O will ensure community acceptance, use, and ownership of any and all projects implemented. Once the most appropriate solution or combination of solutions is identified, IAMH2O will work side by side with community members to implement those solutions, providing the community with access to clean, safe water.

SUSTAINABILITY: This is where IAMH2O begins to separate itself from the current norms of development practice.
The conventional approach to addressing issues of water security has largely ended with access.
There are examples throughout the developing world of wells, boreholes, and water delivery systems that have been implemented by well-intentioned humanitarians, but left with little to no means of maintenance once the group has moved on to the next location.
Wells become contaminated, pumps break down, and purification systems require regular maintenance, but the community is often not equipped to handle these issues itself.
Attempting to provide access to a broad range of communities often leads to a lack of depth in any one community.
IAMH2O intends to partner with only one or two communities at a time, but will maintain a long-term presence in each community, continually building upon each development project, striving for overall sustainability and wellness within the community. Thus, access to clean water serves not as

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the final goal of development, but as the foundation upon which to build sustainable, healthy communities.
Communities that lack adequate sanitation face a variety of problems as listed below:

  • Diseases such as cholera and dysentery are still very common in parts of the world without access to basic sanitation facilities.
  • Children under 5 years of age are particularly susceptible to the health threats of poor sanitation measures.

In this phase, IAMH2O will once again work with community members to determine the most appropriate solutions to issues of hygiene and sanitation. This may include such possibilities as toilet facilities, hand-washing and shower facilities, and hygiene education.

In Phase II, IAMH2O will use the foundations of clean water and sanitation to further impact the health and wellness of the partner community.
Water is the vector through which the body receives the vitamins and minerals it needs to thrive, so once clean water is available as an agent of delivery, the next step is to ensure that these nutrients are readily available.
IAMH2O will work with community members to establish locally-appropriate food security measures. Depending on community factors, this may be done through small-scale private gardens, large-scale community gardens, or full-scale agriculture.
The raising of various livestock can also be explored as a means of increasing the availability of protein in the diet.
With the introduction of sanitation and hygiene measures in Phase I, the occurrence of certain water-borne diseases should be minimized or eradicated.

Additional health concerns will be addressed in this phase through improved ambient conditions (garbage handling, indoor air quality, etc.) and increased access to health care.

The first two phases of development focus largely on issues of survival—meeting the basic needs of the community to overcome water scarcity, disease, and malnutrition. In Phase III, we shift the focus to a higher order of need, working with the community to provide the building blocks for expanding and sustaining their social and economic development. The purpose of IAMH2O projects is to foster human capacity building and empowerment through the use of safe, clean water.

Rather than “giving fish” IAMH2O is committed to collaborative initiatives that foster training and education that create “fishermen”. In short, we seek to transform communities through sustainable water projects.

Although safe water and access to food and energy are a major part of our core objectives, IAMH2O also believes that better health and hygiene and a focus on training and education will provide a deeper foundation for sustainable communities. Working with partners and experts on the ground and in the field we endeavor to train and implement projects for the advancement of emerging communities. Though there will be an education component throughout the development process, Phase III will have a heavier focus on scholastic and non-traditional education, especially among young adults with a focus on girls and women.

Providing young adults with a basic education greatly increases the assets of the community as a whole, while equipping older adults with job skills brings an additional economic component to the community and to individual households. We recognize what clean water can do to change the lives of many throughout the world, and we are committed to promote greater access and sustainability in terms of water resources.

IAMH2O sees itself as a collaborative partner working with and for our respective communities. Our success is tied to every drop of clean, safe water we are able to deliver to the vast majority of us that are dying for lack of access to and sustainability of clean water. <LINK TO L.I.O.N.S PROJECT>

Economic Development

IAM20 will also champion skills development and apprenticeship as a means of economic advancement. Such programs as fish farming, carpentry, sewing, food processing and craftwork can provide meaningful avenues for a developing community to become economically viable.
Introducing financial models to the community is another way to improve economic conditions.
A variety of micro-savings and lending models exists that could be implemented within the partner community.
These models allow community members to accrue the capital necessary to begin their own businesses, save for life events such as weddings, and provide a safety net for unexpected events such as illness or injury.

Advances in energy production can provide communities with the potential to produce goods for sale, access to the Internet for market information, and transportation to a wider range of markets.
By approaching issues related to sustainable development as an interdependent function of the water, food, and energy nexus, rather than treating each of them as an isolated problem on its own, IAMH2O seeks to provide opportunities for long standing solutions to the world global problems.

As each factor of the water, food and energy nexus influences the other in a profound ways, water stands the most vital to life. Water is the non-renewable element in this nexus and therefore requires a greater amount of attention. In order to ensure successful, enduring rural development, the synergy between these elements has to be understood and developed.

The power of water is already used in hydroelectric plants to generate electricity. Recently more people have been using water on a smaller scale to generate electricity without the problems and costs involved with fossil fuels or large dams. Small-scale water power is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to make electricity.

IAMH2O as a part of its commitment to sustainable development will seek out energy partners for research and development opportunities to utilized water as a potential source for energy in rural communities. We also look for other forms of renewable energy sources in the form of water management and alternative technologies, such as wind. As a part of our development plan we offer both the community and our partners an opportunity to explore the possibilities of clean energy through water and waste management.

Clean water leads to good health and a better quality of life. The world is 75% water and the human body at birth is over 80% waters.

Water is a vital part of human functionality and is key to our overall development. Without water, life is fleeting. Waterborne diseases affect food supply and spread infectious diseases that threaten human advancement and life.

Clean water, sanitary environments, better food and an understanding of basic health solutions leads to stronger, thriving global communities. IAMH2O recognizes this and see access to clean water and better health care as a basic human right. Our projects are designed to take a holistic approach to utilizing clean water for all around wellness.

This is done not only through our sustainable water projects, but through partnerships with health organizations that provide training in basic health and hygiene practices. The basics –in sanitation, hydration, waste disposal, nutrition --are in most cases all that’s needed to save lives. Clean, safe drinking water is the conduit to longstanding health and wellness.


Members of the local community will be involved throughout the development process, but it is in the final stages that they will become completely responsible for the projects that have been implemented in the previous phases.

During the implementation of each prior step, individuals will be trained in the maintenance, repair, and any testing that may be required, so that these can be properly performed without the presence of an IAMH2O team member.

Following the successful implementation of Phase V, IAMH2O will begin the process of phasing out its presence, and leaving the partner community fully responsible for its further development. This will occur following a mutual decision between IAMH2O and the community leadership.

IAMH2O will maintain frequent contact with the community, but will no longer direct the implementation of further development projects.

Throughout IAMH2O’s engagement, it is anticipated that individual members of each partner community will be educated in aspects of the development process and will become capable of duplicating those projects, thus replicating the model and even potentially generating income for themselves and others.

IAMH20 champions the process of replication in neighboring communities as a means of ensuring greater security and sustainability of the projects implemented throughout our engagement and beyond.

This rippling effect will create a greater sense of community within a region, as well as the support systems necessary for continuing advancement.


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