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DigDeep and Water For People Launch Vessel™ to Unite Efforts in the US Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Space

The creation of Vessel™ is the first step in building a formal United States WASH sector for collaborative action on the domestic water and wastewater crisis.

Closing the water access gap in the U.S. is too large of a problem for any one organization to solve alone. Vessel™ is an effort to bring collective action to this complex, and often hidden, issue.”

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES – Today, DigDeep, a human rights nonprofit working to ensure universal access to clean water and proper sanitation in the United States, is pleased to share the launch of Vessel™, a new collective of a dozen domestic WASH (Water Access, Sanitation & Hygiene) organizations taking collaborative action to close the water access gap for every person in the nation.

More than 2 million people across the United States live in households without running water or a flush toilet. No single organization can tackle this alone. While there is a strong and effective international WASH sector, with billions of dollars invested by government agencies, NGOs and other philanthropists in places like sub-Saharan Africa, there is no formal US WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) sector to address this crisis at home.

Vessel™ is the first step in building a formal, robust and dedicated U.S. WASH sector: a network of nonprofits, funders, academics, government agencies and other community champions to share knowledge, strategic coordination and engage in more effective policymaking.

“Closing the water access gap in the United States is too large of a problem for any one organization to solve alone,” said Kabir Thatte, DigDeep’s Director of Policy & Coalitions. “Vessel™ is an effort to bring collective action to this complex, and often hidden, issue. We look forward to working alongside other nonprofits, policymakers, academia, and business leaders to uplift the voices of impacted communities and find lasting solutions.”

The Vessel™ collective is spearheaded by DigDeep and Water For People, with the participation of a dozen other prominent organizations doing domestic WASH work including the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), Center for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC), International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Johns Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health, Moonshot Missions, the Pacific Institute, Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), the US Water Alliance, Community Engineering Corps, American Business Water Coalition, and Xylem.

“We are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to lasting safe water and sanitation services,” said Sarah Bramley, Chief Impact Officer, Water For People. “Everyone doesn’t only apply to people in low and middle-income countries. It also applies to our neighbors right here in the United States. Vessel™ gives us a tool to come together to speak with a common voice towards making the human right to water a reality for all.”

Inspired by the international WASH sector, the Vessel™ collective envisions a united effort that extends beyond any one organization’s agenda. To kickstart this collaborative endeavor, a domestic convening is scheduled for May 2024 in Washington, DC. This event will gather representatives from government agencies, funders, and other stakeholders from over 150 domestic WASH organizations. The aim is to foster cross-sector collaboration and set action-oriented targets to begin a concerted response to the water and wastewater crisis.

Vessel™’s goals are ambitious and impactful:
1) Coalition Building: Uniting NGOs, academics, public and private sectors, Vessel™ forms a structured domestic coalition for unified action.
2) Community Amplification: Engaging frontline communities and WASH leaders, Vessel™ gains insights and tailors strategies to the crisis.
3) Target Setting: Collectively defining goals and actionable targets, Vessel™ paves the way for a comprehensive domestic response.
4) Knowledge Sharing: Equipping sector organizations with practical knowledge, solutions, and training through workshops.
5) Public Awareness: Amplifying urgency among stakeholders, officials, and the public for a united purpose.
6) Advocacy for Change: Coordinating a policy agenda to drive reforms and secure resources for marginalized communities.

For more information, please visit www.vesselcollective.us.


Vessel™ is a collective of national WASH organizations dedicated to addressing the water and sanitation crisis in the United States. Formed with the belief in collective action, the coalition aims to close the U.S. Water Gap through collaboration, community engagement, setting actionable targets, knowledge exchange, policy advocacy, and raising public awareness. By uniting organizations with a shared mission and forming the foundation of the domestic U.S. WASH sector, Vessel™ strives to ensure every individual’s right to clean and reliable water services. For more information, please visit www.vesselcollective.us.

DigDeep is a human rights nonprofit working to ensure every person in the United States has access to clean running water and sanitation at home. DigDeep is a leading voice in research and policy advocacy across the U.S., and its community-led infrastructure projects have brought clean, running water to hundreds of families through its award-winning Navajo Water Project (Arizona, New Mexico and Utah), Appalachia Water Project (West Virginia), and Colonias Water Project (Texas). DigDeep co-authored the “Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States Report” and authored the follow-up report “Draining: The Economic Impact of America’s Hidden Water Crisis.” For more information, please visit www.digdeep.org.

Water For People, motivated by the fact that water is a human right, is a nonprofit working across nine countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa to address the global water crisis. In bringing together communities, local businesses, and governments to build, operate, and maintain their own systems, Water For People’s approach ensures that every family, health clinic, and school has lasting access to safe water and sanitation. For more information, please visit www.waterforpeople.org.


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Last modified: October 4, 2023