Web link

www. WaterForHumans.Org

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Global WA Conference

Today is the 6th annual Global WA Conference. Like the past 5 events it looks like this one will be great.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The International Foundation Announces a $15,000 Grant to Support our Cook-stove Program

We are pleased to announce that "The International Foundation" has awarded us a $15,000 grant to support our work to bring high efficiency clean cook-stoves to our target communities in Chiapas, Mexico.  This grant will help support our work to deploy our Gen2 clean cook-stove in collaboration with our partner "The Hunger Project-Mexico".

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Register here for the big party!!


Come to the annual Water for Humans
Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) kid-friendly donor appreciation party

Sunday, Nov 2nd 3-6 pm

Two Dog Yoga Studio
12549 28th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98125

Enjoy tamales and Mazateca food, hear about great people in Chiapas and Oaxaca, and connect with friends old and new.

Register Here!!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Save this FUN Date!



Please save this FUN date!

Sunday, Nov 2nd 3-6 pm

For the annual Water for Humans

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) kid-friendly donor appreciation party.

Enjoy tamales and Mazateca food, hear about great people in Chiapas and Oaxaca, and connect with friends old and new.

Location: Two Dog Yoga Studio
12549 28th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98125

Sign up coming soon!!!

You're welcome to bring friends!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

WOW what a busy month

The last month (August) was a very busy month for us.  It was not the "dog days of Summer".  What kept us busy was the submission of three major grants proposals, to the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, ENVIRON and the Tulalip Tribe Foundation. Along with all that Rick is steadily working on new stove designs and testing.  We are hoping to hold our annual fall Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) party in early November (but we need to secure a venue first).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer Newsletter -- We have been busy


Water for Humans Summer Newsletter: 2014

WFH exists because of you!!! Thank you for your support. 
click on a picture for the story behind it
BeautifulDishes   ChiapasDelegationVisit  Bayalemo

DesignProcess  WoodPile  WomenCooking

WomanWithLaMazateca  HandsWeaving  RickInSuit


What's so special about these dishes in Oaxaca? They are clean! And they are in the same room as a La Mazateca stove. This would never have happened in homes with traditional three-stone fires burning openly. Since late last year, 90 families have installed these stoves in the 4 communities where Water for Humans works. So far 640 men, women, and children have experienced greatly reduced indoor smoke, and women and girls are reporting that their wood cutting time has been reduced 50 to 70%. After seeing the working stoves, another 100 families would like to install them. It is very important to note that these stoves are not given to households. Rather, the community and families have to work to get funding. 

This success has caused us to pursue a second generation clean cook-stove - Generation 2.0. This new stove design will be less costly and much easier to build, more efficient, and thus more sustainable. To make this a reality, we are raising funds for research and development, prototype tooling, and stove certification by the Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, OR. Certification is very important, because it will give the stove world-wide credibility and enable the stove-builders and emerging social venture enterprise to support their claims as they market the stove. 

Certification of clean cook-stoves is an initiative from the UN and the World Bank. Generaton 2.0 will meet the certification standards of the Global Alliance for Clean Cook-stoves. This includes international standards certified by a third party for indoor and outdoor emissions, and overall cooking efficiencies. The certification process enhances WFH's design process for producing a better stove. It also allows governments, NGOs and end users to objectively evaluate different technologies and provides the potential of selling carbon credits to support climate change initiatives. The Gen-2 clean cook-stoves will be tested in the homes of participating community members. 

Our goal: Generation 2.0 cook-stove will be ready six to nine months after we secure the required funding. 
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Where are these people in traditional Chiapas clothing headed? Through our partners at The Hunger Project, women in Chiapas heard about the Generation 1 "La Mazateca" clean cook-stoves and created a video explaining why they needed La Mazateca. They invited Water for Humans and the Mazateca stove-builders to Chiapas. But first, a group from Chiapas traveled to the Mazateca to meet families using the stoves. This was an extraordinary and unique event: Two very different indigenous communities seeking each other out and coming together for mutual advancement. The two indigenous groups needed translators, because few of them speak Spanish, yet they made an amazing connection. In both Chiapas and the Mazateca, the clean cook-stove program has the potential to reach 50,000 people. 
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THE ROAD INTO BAYALEMO, Larrainzar Municipality, Chiapas

Where is this road gong? In late June 2014, this was the first view of Bayalemo for Mazatec stove-builders who made the journey along with Water for Humans co-founder, Stan Brown. The group from the Mazateca spent the next week building a pilot stove with the local community. 
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Why are these pots significant? Women in Bayalemo discussed what size pots they would most want to use on the new stove, and after lots of pots were tried out, came to a decision that enabled the stove-builders to modify the stove top design to accommodate the preferred pot sizes. Water for Humans makes sure that local conditions, culture, preferences, and practical concerns are all taken into consideration in our design, engineering, and building processes. This way, long after we are gone our technologies will continue to serve the community.
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This photo gives some of us a backache just looking at it! This is the amount of wood people in Bayalemo, Chiapas need to keep close at hand for just a few weeks of cooking. Multiply this amount of wood by the 50,000 people in the region who are expected to adopt the La Mazateca clean cook-stove. That's a lot of wood coming out of the rainforest, and that means lost habitat for rainforest creatures and plants, less groundwater retention, less shade for coffee, less water during the annual four-month drought, and more flooding when it finally does rain. The reduction in wood cutting that comes with the adoption of clean cook-stoves will make a major difference for the rainforest and the people living here. 
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These women are happy with the Bayalemo pilot stove and thrilled to start using it as part of the Bayalemo stove lighting ceremony. They also are looking forward to seeing more of these clean cook-stoves in their community. Now and in the coming months when more stove-builders are being trained is the perfect time to introduce the much improved Generation-2 stove. Water for Humans is actively raising funds to complete engineering and testing for this improved stove that will be even less expensive and can be built anywhere in the world. 
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This photo was taken in Bayalemo on the day of the new pilot stove lighting ceremony. Compare the thumb-sized diameter of this fuel wood with the photo of big wood piles. Wood this size can be found closer to home, it's easier to transport, and far less is needed. 
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All along, the Water for Humans team has predicted that as women and girls are freed from the massive amount of time they spend cutting and carrying firewood, they will find more productive uses for their time. The women in Bayalemo already know what they want to do: create more of the beautiful crafts such as the weaving shown here to sell from their cooperative.
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Who is the man in the suit? It's Rick McKenney, Water for Humans co-founder and executive director in Geneva accepting an award from the International Licensing Executive Society that is very valuable for us and the communities we work with in Mexico. The award is for pro-bono work securing patents and licensing for our clean cook-stoves. 

With the help of our partner, The Hunger Project (THP), and patent attorneys associated with Invent for Humanity, we plan to secure intellectual property rights in Latin America and India. In collaboration with THP, we will help form a co-op business structure for a social enterprise starting with our current promoters (stove builders) to make the stoves available in the greater Mazateca region. 
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why A Toilet Alone Won't Do The Job: The 'Software' Of Sanitation Innovation

“The 2015 goal to halve the proportion of people living without sanitation is running 150 years behind schedule.”
- WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation 2010

Since 2008, the “International Year of Sanitation,” the topic of toilets has more frequently appeared in media all over the world. Despite many efforts, today there are still 2.5 billion people worldwide without access to improved sanitation. Why? Because a toilet alone won’t do the job.
(complete Forbes article)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stan is "On the Ground" in Chiapas Mexico

Stan left on Sunday morning to launch our stove program in Chiapas Mexico.  Stan spend part of the day Monday in Mexico City (D.F.) meeting with the staff at the Hunger Project-Mexico (THP) offices then took a quick flight down to Chiapas (vs a 14 hour bus ride) on to San Christobal.  He was met at the airport by Wendy (THP staff) and rode the 1.5 hours to San Christobal together.  Roberto (THP staff for the Oaxaca region) will join Stan and Wendy on Wednesday along with the 4 stove "Promoters" (builders) from the Mazateca. This team will oversee the building of 2 demonstration stoves.

Late last month a group of representatives from Chiapas went to the Mazateca to see-use and meet both the stove users and builders.  This was culturally significant event as these two indigenous cultural groups had never met each other. In addition they don't peak the same language!  At one level this project is ground breaking as it is being lead by two indigenous cultural groups, that will work together to help expand our stove program in another region in Mexico.

In building the stoves for the families in Chiapas they wanted some modifications to the design.  First, the women make tortillas sitting down, vs standing up in the Mazateca. Thus the stove will be modified to meet the specific cultural needs of these women by lowering the Comal side of the stove.  Second, they wanted the other side of the cook top to be a little lower which we will accommodate. In addition they would like the next generation builds to be in a long line or "L" shape. All of which we can accommodate in the future.

The goal of this pilot build is to; first have the 'Promoters" in Chiapas learn how to build the Gen1 stove from the experienced Promoters from the Mazateca, test the modified design, and then let the families use the stoves for a few months to determine if the "like" then as much as they thing they will.  They already got to use them in there prior trip to the Mazateca, and to suggest modifications and improvements so the stoves will better meet their expectations.

Stay tuned as I hope to hear from Stan (I don't know if he will have internet access or not) over the next 10 days about the progress.

Rick McKenney
Executive Director
Water for Humans

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mico-Projects in a Macro World: How to Ensure Non-profit International Development Projects Succeed Where Others Fail

Rick has his first paper published covering some of Water for Humans development work and how we make our programs successful.

Mico-Projects in a Macro World: How to Ensure Non-profit International Development Projects Succeed Where Others Fail

Spanda Journal


Small-scale non-profits engaged in international work often set out with lofty aims, only to discover their projects fail or are rejected by local communities.  Innovative approaches to successful development projects include partnering with local NGOs specializing in capacity building, while heeding a number of lessons learned from past development work to ensure that micro-level projects succeed.  First, efforts to implement appropriate technologies in indigenous communities often fail because project planners do not consider cultural, historical and material constraints.  These constraints include unequal power relations within communities that hinder resource access and distribution; prior community experience with colonial or development projects that had adverse impacts; and geographical isolation and environmental extremes that limit project success.  Second, economic leakages often result in the financial benefits from development projects leaving local communities.  Third, although micro-projects have the potential to be among the most beneficial to communities, strategic partnering with NGOs may provide key resources as well as social and political capital necessary for success.  In this paper, we discuss these and other innovations related to the success of rural development micro-projects.  We then consider how to strategically partner with NGOs, despite potential conflicts of interest that may arise.  In expanding on innovative NGO approaches to development, we address capacity trust-building techniques, innovative methodologies, and deployment styles and techniques.  We conclude that micro-projects which include strategic NGO partnerships; social-impact assessments; promote low-technology inputs; and provide local control of technology and profits have the best chance of local acceptance and long-term sustainability.

Key words: innovation, micro-projects, international development, NGOs, economic leakage, appropriate technology, rural development, sustainable development, social impact assessment, NGO partnerships.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Water 4.0

Water 4.0:  The Past, Present, and Future of the World’sMost Vital Resource is a new (2014) book by David Sedlak.   In it he details “(t)he little-known story of the systems that bring us our drinking water, how they were developed, the problems they are facing, and how they will be reinvented in the near future.”  Water 1.0 is what he calls the gravity-powered aqueducts engineered and built by the ancient Romans.  “…(T)he addition of filtration and chlorine disinfection on the front end of water distribution systems…” he refers to as Water 2.0.  “…(T)he installation of biological wastewater treatment on the sewer end…” is Water 3.0.  And, solutions to the challenges we now face will bring Water 3.x – Water 4.0 to our communities.  These solutions may be centralized, decentralized or some combination of both.  Sedlak does a good job of recounting the history and explaining the options we have as we move forward.  For anyone interested in an overview of the past, present and future of urban water, this book is well worth reading.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cook Stoves Going to Chiapas


YOU made it possible!


Help Mazateca stove builders take their show on the road! 

Help them continue their great work on
giveBIG Day at the Seattle Foundation.
Every dollar will be stretched! Save the date, May 6th


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Help Stoves Save the Rainforest


YOU made it possible!

Thanks to you, these clean cookstove-builders and their families are using
50% less wood and saving their rainforest.

Help them continue their great work on
giveBIG Day at the Seattle Foundation.
Every dollar will be stretched! Save the date, May 6th


Saturday, March 22, 2014

World Water Day (3/22)

Today (March 22) is World Water Day, as designated by the UN, and this year’s theme is Water and Energy.  Here is a link to today’s publication of the UN's World Water Development Report 2014, Water and Energy. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Current Status of this Gates-Funded, Reinvented Toilet

The inside story of how Caltech engineers and Kohler designers are testing a toilet technology that could significantly improve the health of 2.5 billion people around the world. It might even appear in U.S. bathrooms, too. -more-

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why wolves are important

Please watch this video

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"La Mazateca" Video of our stove builders and users

Please check this out.  It is in Spanish, we are working on translating it and we will post an English version soon.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Award for our Clean Cookstove Program at the GTIF conference in Geneva

Water for Humans received an award from the Licensing Executives Society at their Global Technology Impact Forum in Geneva Switzerland in Jan 2014.

Here is a YouTube of the presentation I gave;  http://youtu.be/YoRj3XA6ZQE

Or on SlideShare at  http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/view/30510328?login=rickmckenney&title=gtif-wipo-jan-20141

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

In Geneva on my way home :)

After attending the 3rd meeting of the LESI (License Executive Society International) Global Technology Forum, to receive an award for our cookstove program, I am getting ready for the long day of travel back to Seattle. I leave Geneva at 12:20, then leave Heathrow at 2:30, and arrive in Seattle at 4pm. Wow I only wish it was really a 3.5 hour flight!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Last night I received an award for our innovative cookstove design and implementation.  The "Licensing Executive Society International", third annual meeting "Global Technology Impact Forum" sponsored the event and award. This conference - Society is primarily patent lawyers, and IP professionals. At one level I am a "fish out of water", as much of our work is "open source". However, our Generation 2 cookstove will have IP (intellectual property-patents - licensing) associated with it. Beyond the award the networking has led to the potential of receiving probono legal IP work. And a representative from the Mexican Federal Finance Minister's office is here, so now we have a great connection with the new Federal government, for several funding opportunities.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day one at the World Intellectual property Forum.

Rick is in Geneva at the Global intellectual property forum. I was an invited speaker last year, to talk about our work in Mexico with the Mazateca indigenous cultural group. I was invited back this year to give input from the perspective of a small NGO working at the BOP, in economically remote regions of the world.

Later tonight I will make a major announcement for Water for Humans, associated with this conference.

This is an interesting place for me to be in as most of our work and innovation is "open source", however, with our Generation 2 clean cookstove program there is the potential for I.P. and licensing of the design and implementation model.

Friday, January 17, 2014

On my way to Geneva

Rick is getting ready for a 10 hour flight to the UK, then on to Geneva. I will arrive in Geneva about 4pm on Saturday!   I am going to accept an award for our cookstove program. More about the award after it is announced.