Meet the Suitcase Home Water System
The Navajo Nation was one of the hardest hit communities by COVID-19 in the United States, in part due to the fact that about 30% of families lack access to running water in their homes. Let’s take a closer look at the work and impact of our non-profit giving partner DigDeep, and how their creativity allowed them to continue to deliver clean water when some of the most vulnerable families in America needed it most.
When the pandemic first hit, DigDeep had to pause in-home installations of running water to protect the safety of their staff and clients. But while DigDeep was on lockdown, one of their own team members, Ernest Largo, contracted the virus. In just seven days, he passed away. Ernest was a passionate water and solar technician. He developed trusting relationships with clients, and hand-built the systems that provide them with clean, hot-and-cold running water. When Ernest got sick, he told his team to keep going.
Just as so many of us had to pivot in the face of unprecedented challenges and circumstances brought by the pandemic, the DigDeep team did just that. They got creative, problem solved, and invented the Suitcase Home Water System, which provided a contactless solution to continue to allow them to deliver clean water supplies across the Navajo Nation.
DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project installed 100 suitcase systems during the height of the pandemic, and since safety restrictions have been lifted, they have been converting these systems into permanent Home Water Systems that connect the plumbing inside homes. This innovative system even earned them a nod as a finalist of Fast Company’s 2021 Innovation by Design Awards.
But DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project team didn’t stop at suitcases in the face of such adversity to members of their own community. They also sprung into action to deliver emergency services, including:
- Distributing 262,000 gallons of emergency bottled water to about 30,000 people
- Purchasing, distributing and filling (and re-filling) 1450 above-ground, 275-gallon emergency water tanks to homes without service.
- Temporarily expanding their delivery routes to serve more households.
- Helping out-of-work families pay their water and electric bills so they could continue to receive critical utility services uninterrupted.
At AquaTru, we are proud to support DigDeep’s Navajo Water Project and the work they continue to do across this country to provide Americans with access to clean, running water. We believe water is a human right, and we are so happy that our donation of $50,000 this year allows us to support a human rights non-profit organization that shares the same mission and has such a tangible impact on so many Americans’ lives. We could not have done it without the support of our AquaTru customers and community, so we thank you for being #TRUwaterwarriors for the greater good. Your purchases make this support possible.