Blue Access takes a grassroots approach built on collaboration with local stakeholders to define local water issues and implement community-supported solutions. Our method is different from the traditional philanthropic model, where outsiders define local needs and endorse solutions that do not necessarily come organically from the community or enjoy its support.
With equity as a cornerstone of its mission, Blue Access has a primary focus on underserved and rural communities. Although water access issues affect individuals across race, income, nationality, and gender, those marginalized in their communities are more likely to experience the most severe impact of water challenges. Globally, water scarcity affects about 40% of the population; each day, more than 800 children under the age of 5 die from disease attributed to poor water and sanitation. Women and girls are responsible for water collection in 80% of households without access to water on premises. This means they are unable to work or go to school, locking communities into poverty.
In the United States, over 2 million people are without access to clean water. Recent studies show that race is the strongest predictor of water and sanitation access. And poverty is a key obstacle to water access in the United States, regardless of race. Census tracts with lower than average income have higher percentages of households lacking complete plumbing access.
Blue Access focuses on researching local water issues and developing potential solutions by convening and surveying residents, organizational leaders, and communities to get a deep understanding of their needs. We also form local, regional, and national alliances with other organizations working on water issues locally and globally.