October 20, 2016

Hilton Foundation Renews Support for Safe Water Network with Largest Grant to Date

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awarded Safe Water Network $5 million for its Ghana program over five years, our largest grant to date. Safe Water Network’s overarching goal in Ghana is to bring reliable access to safe, affordable water to millions by implementing an enterprise approach to community water supply and enabling other organizations to replicate the model at scale.

Since 2013, the partnership with the Hilton Foundation has been integral in expanding Safe Water Network’s footprint from five H2Ome! Water Stations to 37, serving a total of 69 communities. With this grant, we will develop an active market for Small Water Enterprises (SWEs) to achieve scale in Ghana and serve as a replicable model for other countries. With adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 6.1, the global water sector has definitively moved beyond measuring success in terms of just infrastructure, and raised its sights to sustainability. SWEs – locally-owned and –operated water treatment facilities that generate sufficient revenue from water sales to cover operating and maintenance costs - will play a central role in achieving SDG6.1. This shift needs to be accompanied by the systems and processes that support the more sophisticated goal.

The grant from the Hilton Foundation supports an integrated program that addresses critical barriers to scale and sustainability for small town and peri-urban water supply, including: demonstrating the market-based model at credible scale with an incremental 150 communities receiving sustainable access to safe water from 125 H2Ome! Water Stations; developing a comprehensive business platform that enables other organizations to replicate the model under their own programs; advancing the sector to improve the enabling environment; developing a financing facility to increase funding, aggregate investors, and improve financial management; and demonstrating how small water enterprises play a central role in 100% coverage of a district. Stay tuned for updates!

Read the press release here

Peter Laugharn, CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Safe Water Network’s program cuts across the three core areas of the Hilton Foundation’s new water strategy: Advance Proven & Promising Models & Solutions; Strengthen Water Governance & In-Country Systems; and Build & Disseminate Credible & Actionable Evidence. They bring a demonstrated and innovative approach to community water supply. Their small water enterprise model reliably supplies safe, affordable water to the challenging markets of small towns and peri-urban communities. Additionally, their work to advance the enterprise model is bringing together sector leaders to develop and implement practical solutions to the challenges of sustainability and scale. We’re excited to work with Safe Water Network to take the enterprise model to scale in Ghana and lay the foundation for replication globally.