OUR MISSION: UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO SAFE WATER ON TAP


AguaClara Reach trains organizations to design and deploy gravity-powered water treatment plants for under-served communities around the world. Conventional centralized water treatment can be complex, costly, and—for the 2 billion people without access to clean drinking water around the world—completely unsustainable.
 

AguaClara Technology achieves high Performance with Simple Design

 

Easy to Build

AguaClara plants are built using locally-available materials and utilize community labor. This empowers communities to independently undertake future repairs.

Easy to Operate

Anyone with a 6th grade education can be trained to operate, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair the systems.

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Affordable to Run

AguaClara plants do not require electricity to run. The treatment process is powered by gravity.

OUR STORY: A JOURNEY ACROSS CONTINENTS

AguaClara began as a student-based research program at Cornell University, founded by Dr. Monroe Weber-Shirk in 2005. The goal of the program was to design water treatment plants that would last for decades in resource-limited communities. In partnership with Honduran NGO, Agua Para el Pueblo, 14 AguaClara plants have been built in Honduras, serving 65,000 people in total. In 2013, AguaClara LLC, a certified B-Corporation, was founded by Cornell graduates to extend the implementation of the technology beyond Honduras. The organization was awarded B-Corps Best for the World Overall in 2015 and 2017. The social enterprise has built 4 water treatment systems in India to date. In 2017, we established AguaClara Reach to expand on the previous successes, now as a non-profit organization, with the continued mission of bringing clean drinking water on tap to communities around the world. AguaClara Reach continues to partner with the student-based program in Cornell Engineering, working to pilot the latest open-source innovations developed in the lab, while sharing lessons learned from the field to drive further research.

OUR SUCCESS: HONDURAN CASE STUDY

The Honduran AguaClara Program has been developing next generation drinking water treatment technologies to deliver safe water and meet the essential need of individuals and families in towns and cities since 2005. Over a period of 14 years, through implementation of a process of innovation, AguaClara Cornell and its main implementation partner Agua Para el Pueblo continually improved both its treatment processes and project management methodologies to support acceleration of the program and potential scale-up of activities across other areas of the world. Through public involvement, the program today ensures safe water, appropriate pricing for low-income residents, and the management of water supply and demand on a sustainable basis in support of the good health and productivity of the community.

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The sustainability of the AguaClara Program is evident. Members of each beneficiary community continue to operate, maintain and manage the simple-to-operate treatment facilities, built completely of locally-sourced materials. Each month, each household in these low-income communities demonstrates both a willingness to pay and the ability to afford the low cost of water tariffs.

The AguaClara Program is now being implemented in other countries through partnerships formed by AguaClara Reach, a non-profit organization established to facilitate universal access to safe water on tap.

Full Study Honduran AguaClara Program - Case Study - March 2019

A Nonprofit Organization

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, AguaClara Reach defines success by the number of people benefited in the long term by AguaClara technologies. We wish to see improved health, increased school attendance, more free time for women, and more productive working days in communities that are able to receive a reliable supply of safe drinking water on tap.

Board of Directors

ALISSA DIMINICH

President of the Board

MAYSOON SHARIF

Founder

BLIXY TAETZSCH, CPA

Treasurer

Ms. Diminich has over 10 years of experience in the water and wastewater engineering sector both in New York and Tennessee. She completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees at Cornell in Civil and Environmental Engineering while also acting as a Team Lead with the AguaClara Program at Cornell University. Alissa is a licensed Professional Engineer in Tennessee, where she works at Inflo Design Group, just south of Nashville.

Ms. Diminich has over 10 years of experience in the water and wastewater engineering sector both in New York and Tennessee. She completed her Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees at Cornell in Civil and Environmental Engineering while also acting as a Team Lead with the AguaClara Program at Cornell University. Alissa is a licensed Professional Engineer in Tennessee, where she works at Inflo Design Group, just south of Nashville.

Ms. Sharif was an undergraduate intern with the AguaClara program at Cornell University. She continued to be involved as part of her Master of Engineering project and, upon graduating, worked to maintain the Automated Design Tool that produces 3D CAD drawings of the water treatment systems. She worked to pilot the first four AguaClara systems ever implemented in India.

Ms. Sharif was an undergraduate intern with the AguaClara program at Cornell University. She continued to be involved as part of her Master of Engineering project and, upon graduating, worked to maintain the Automated Design Tool that produces 3D CAD drawings of the water treatment systems. She worked to pilot the first four AguaClara systems ever implemented in India.

Ms. Taetzsch has over 30 years of professional experience in organizational leadership, financial management, and accounting. She is currently College Dean of Operations and Enrollment Management at Tompkins Cortland Community College. She provides leadership and vision for the operational and enrollment management functions of the College and related organizations. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Government Financial Manager, and member of American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA). She also serves on the Board of the Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY.

Ms. Taetzsch has over 30 years of professional experience in organizational leadership, financial management, and accounting. She is currently College Dean of Operations and Enrollment Management at Tompkins Cortland Community College. She provides leadership and vision for the operational and enrollment management functions of the College and related organizations. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Government Financial Manager, and member of American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA). She also serves on the Board of the Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY.

 

ZOE MAISEL

Secretary

SERENA TAKADA

BENJAMIN GASSAWAY

Zoe Maisel has been involved with AguaClara since 2015. As a student at Cornell University, she served as a Team Lead, Research Adviser, and Student Researcher with the AguaClara Program. Since her graduation in 2018 with her Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, she has served as a Volunteer Coordinator with the AguaClara Volunteer Network. Zoe has worked with several nonprofits including Planned Parenthood and Von Cramm Cooperative. She is currently working in New York City at Hazen and Sawyer as an Assistant Engineer within the Water Process group.

Zoe Maisel has been involved with AguaClara since 2015. As a student at Cornell University, she served as a Team Lead, Research Adviser, and Student Researcher with the AguaClara Program. Since her graduation in 2018 with her Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, she has served as a Volunteer Coordinator with the AguaClara Volunteer Network. Zoe has worked with several nonprofits including Planned Parenthood and Von Cramm Cooperative. She is currently working in New York City at Hazen and Sawyer as an Assistant Engineer within the Water Process group.

Serena Takada joined AguaClara in 2014. Since then, she has served as a Team Lead for the AguaClara Cornell Program and a Volunteer Coordinator for the AguaClara Volunteers. She currently works in New York City at Hazen and Sawyer in their Stormwater group. She is passionate about sustainable development and working with local communities to create meaningful change.

Serena Takada joined AguaClara in 2014. Since then, she has served as a Team Lead for the AguaClara Cornell Program and a Volunteer Coordinator for the AguaClara Volunteers. She currently works in New York City at Hazen and Sawyer in their Stormwater group. She is passionate about sustainable development and working with local communities to create meaningful change.

A 2018 graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering, Ben Gassaway currently serves as the Asset Management Lead for my group in Covanta. His professional experience is primarily focused in the energy sector. He interned with Bristol-Myers Squibb as an energy analyst for two years, and is now involved in the waste-to-energy sector. He has a strong passion for sustainability and business development, as well as corporate finance. After work hours, he serves as the Co-President for the 2018 Class Officers. In his free time, he enjoys staying active at the gym, skimboarding and surfing any waves he can find, or playing guitar. He’s looking forward to progressing the goals of AguaClara Reach as a member of the Board of Directors.

A 2018 graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering, Ben Gassaway currently serves as the Asset Management Lead for my group in Covanta. His professional experience is primarily focused in the energy sector. He interned with Bristol-Myers Squibb as an energy analyst for two years, and is now involved in the waste-to-energy sector. He has a strong passion for sustainability and business development, as well as corporate finance. After work hours, he serves as the Co-President for the 2018 Class Officers. In his free time, he enjoys staying active at the gym, skimboarding and surfing any waves he can find, or playing guitar. He’s looking forward to progressing the goals of AguaClara Reach as a member of the Board of Directors.

 
 

KELLY STAFANSKI

JOHN FINN, P.E.

 
 
Kelly has 2+ years of interdisciplinary working experience in the private and public sector and is committed to using engineering as a force for social justice, environmental, and economic improvements for underserved communities. She has a BS (‘16) in Biology from the University of South Florida and MEng (Jan '18) in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on water resources from Cornell University. In the AguaClara Cornell program, she was on the Arsenic Sensor design team and went to Honduras in January 2017 to help install the first 1 L/s plant. She is currently working at Michael Baker International, where she gets to combine her biology and engineering background through ecosystems restoration, stormwater and flood mitigation, and greenway projects across the mid Atlantic region.

Kelly has 2+ years of interdisciplinary working experience in the private and public sector and is committed to using engineering as a force for social justice, environmental, and economic improvements for underserved communities. She has a BS (‘16) in Biology from the University of South Florida and MEng (Jan '18) in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on water resources from Cornell University. In the AguaClara Cornell program, she was on the Arsenic Sensor design team and went to Honduras in January 2017 to help install the first 1 L/s plant. She is currently working at Michael Baker International, where she gets to combine her biology and engineering background through ecosystems restoration, stormwater and flood mitigation, and greenway projects across the mid Atlantic region.

Mr. Finn has over 30 years of experience in engineering practice. His broad range of skills have been built through 10 years as an engineer and project manager in multi-disciplinary teams, 2 years as leader of a relief and development program in Cambodia, and 18 years as leader of an engineering consulting firm in Ithaca, New York. He served as a long time adviser to the AguaClara Program.

Mr. Finn has over 30 years of experience in engineering practice. His broad range of skills have been built through 10 years as an engineer and project manager in multi-disciplinary teams, 2 years as leader of a relief and development program in Cambodia, and 18 years as leader of an engineering consulting firm in Ithaca, New York. He served as a long time adviser to the AguaClara Program.

 
 

Technical Advisory Board

John Foote

Mr. Foote is a visiting lecturer at Cornell University teaching infrastructure finance and a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for State and Local Government. He has twelve years of experience as a public finance investment banker both in the United States and Asia. Following his career in investment banking, John co-founded a transportation engineering company, specializing in intelligent transportation systems and services such as electronic toll collection. John holds a Master of Public Administration (1976) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in engineering (1974) from Cornell University.

Mr. Foote is a visiting lecturer at Cornell University teaching infrastructure finance and a research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for State and Local Government. He has twelve years of experience as a public finance investment banker both in the United States and Asia. Following his career in investment banking, John co-founded a transportation engineering company, specializing in intelligent transportation systems and services such as electronic toll collection. John holds a Master of Public Administration (1976) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in engineering (1974) from Cornell University.

Carol Serna, P.E.

Ms. Serna graduated from Cornell University with a BS in 2006 and a ME in 2007. She has over ten years of experience in the planning and design of various civil engineering projects. She started her career internationally working on sustainable water treatment plants and continued on to work in Houston as a Municipal Utility District Engineer. She is now a Senior Engineer with Carollo Engineers and works on a wide variety of water and wastewater projects for various cities in and around the Houston area. Her passions lie in projects geared towards sustainability, reuse, potable water and wastewater.

Ms. Serna graduated from Cornell University with a BS in 2006 and a ME in 2007. She has over ten years of experience in the planning and design of various civil engineering projects. She started her career internationally working on sustainable water treatment plants and continued on to work in Houston as a Municipal Utility District Engineer. She is now a Senior Engineer with Carollo Engineers and works on a wide variety of water and wastewater projects for various cities in and around the Houston area. Her passions lie in projects geared towards sustainability, reuse, potable water and wastewater.

Michael Klug

Mr. Klug has over 30 years experience providing business and operations guidance for profit and non-profit companies, working across 4 continents. He has helped over 30 technology, financial services, utilities and charitable organizations scale their businesses to better serve their customer bases. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and has served as an advisor to AguaClara for over 5 years.

Mr. Klug has over 30 years experience providing business and operations guidance for profit and non-profit companies, working across 4 continents. He has helped over 30 technology, financial services, utilities and charitable organizations scale their businesses to better serve their customer bases. He graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and has served as an advisor to AguaClara for over 5 years.

Simone St. Anne

Ms. St. Anne is a creative facilitator, with development and communication skills honed at Cornell University. Her attention to big-picture thinking, problem defining, storytelling, histories and myth, enables effective and sustainable interaction and innovation. Her focus is creative collaboration, and watering things to make them grow.

Ms. St. Anne is a creative facilitator, with development and communication skills honed at Cornell University. Her attention to big-picture thinking, problem defining, storytelling, histories and myth, enables effective and sustainable interaction and innovation. Her focus is creative collaboration, and watering things to make them grow.

 

Drew Hart

A 2011 graduate of the Cornell AguaClara program, Mr. Hart has worked on AguaClara projects and program development as an engineer for partner organization Agua Para el Pueblo in Honduras and as design lead at Cornell. Since 2016 he has continued to work in potable water as a Staff Professional at Carollo Engineers in Walnut Creek, California.

A 2011 graduate of the Cornell AguaClara program, Mr. Hart has worked on AguaClara projects and program development as an engineer for partner organization Agua Para el Pueblo in Honduras and as design lead at Cornell. Since 2016 he has continued to work in potable water as a Staff Professional at Carollo Engineers in Walnut Creek, California.

Michael Adelman, P.E.

Mr. Adelman was a part of the AguaClara Cornell team as an M.S. student from 2010-2012, where he focused on the development of the Stacked Rapid Sand Filter and researched topics ranging from particle capture by plate settlers to the effectiveness of the economic and governance model of AguaClara plants. He is currently a professional environmental engineer with Stantec MWH in Pasadena, CA, where he works on both conventional and advanced treatment process engineering for a variety of water, wastewater, water reuse, site remediation, and waste management projects.

Mr. Adelman was a part of the AguaClara Cornell team as an M.S. student from 2010-2012, where he focused on the development of the Stacked Rapid Sand Filter and researched topics ranging from particle capture by plate settlers to the effectiveness of the economic and governance model of AguaClara plants. He is currently a professional environmental engineer with Stantec MWH in Pasadena, CA, where he works on both conventional and advanced treatment process engineering for a variety of water, wastewater, water reuse, site remediation, and waste management projects.

Rahul Bawa

Mr. Bawa is an experienced executive, investor, consultant, and mentor who thrives on strategic and challenging opportunities to improve business results and create value. He is experienced in transforming startups through Fortune 500 organizations to consistently develop and deliver products and services focused on customers’ needs while exceeding an organization’s revenue, cost and profit goals. He has deep business and technical expertise combined with strong team-building and management skills to promote positive change.

Mr. Bawa is an experienced executive, investor, consultant, and mentor who thrives on strategic and challenging opportunities to improve business results and create value. He is experienced in transforming startups through Fortune 500 organizations to consistently develop and deliver products and services focused on customers’ needs while exceeding an organization’s revenue, cost and profit goals. He has deep business and technical expertise combined with strong team-building and management skills to promote positive change.

Aminta Nuñez

Ms. Nuñes is a civil engineer and has been working in WASH for 5 years with partner organization Agua Para el Pueblo. One of her majors roles has been the design and the supervision of the construction of the AguaClara plants in Honduras. She sees her role as a great opportunity to serve and help people of her country and to improve their quality of life.

Ms. Nuñes is a civil engineer and has been working in WASH for 5 years with partner organization Agua Para el Pueblo. One of her majors roles has been the design and the supervision of the construction of the AguaClara plants in Honduras. She sees her role as a great opportunity to serve and help people of her country and to improve their quality of life.

 

Tori Klug

Peter Hobbs

Juan Guzman

Guneet Sandhu

Ms. Klug was a part of the AguaClara team as an undergraduate student from 2011-2014, where she focused on translating insight from the AguaClara lab and feedback from the field into improvements to AguaClara water treatment plant designs. She is currently working as an environmental engineer in California, where she focuses on a variety of water supply, treatment, and management projects.

Ms. Klug was a part of the AguaClara team as an undergraduate student from 2011-2014, where she focused on translating insight from the AguaClara lab and feedback from the field into improvements to AguaClara water treatment plant designs. She is currently working as an environmental engineer in California, where she focuses on a variety of water supply, treatment, and management projects.

Professor Hobbs is a crop scientist and agronomist with 30 years of experience with IRRI and CIMMYT, two CG centers working mainly on rice and wheat systems and conservation agriculture in South Asia. He is presently an adjunct Professor in CSS and also an International Professor teaching various courses on international agriculture systems, agroforestry and GMO`s. In August 2010 he became the new Associate Director for IP-CALS for academic and professional studies.

Professor Hobbs is a crop scientist and agronomist with 30 years of experience with IRRI and CIMMYT, two CG centers working mainly on rice and wheat systems and conservation agriculture in South Asia. He is presently an adjunct Professor in CSS and also an International Professor teaching various courses on international agriculture systems, agroforestry and GMO`s. In August 2010 he became the new Associate Director for IP-CALS for academic and professional studies.

Mr. Guzman has been with the AguaClara Cornell program since 2015, and received his BS and ME from Cornell in 2017. Starting in August 2018, he will be working for Agua Para el Pueblo in Honduras designing and implementing AguaClara technologies. His professional aspirations include propagating innovative water and wastewater technologies in the global south.

Mr. Guzman has been with the AguaClara Cornell program since 2015, and received his BS and ME from Cornell in 2017. Starting in August 2018, he will be working for Agua Para el Pueblo in Honduras designing and implementing AguaClara technologies. His professional aspirations include propagating innovative water and wastewater technologies in the global south.

Ms. Sandhu began her association with AguaClara Cornell as a member of the design team while pursuing Master of Chemical Engineering at Cornell University. After graduating in 2014, she joined AguaClara LLC as a project engineer to lend technical support for implementation of the pilot systems in India. This enriching experience spurred her interest in understanding the interdisciplinary facets of water management. She is currently a Masters candidate in Sustainability Management (Water) at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on designing provincial bulk water pricing frameworks to promote efficient and sustainable water management.

Ms. Sandhu began her association with AguaClara Cornell as a member of the design team while pursuing Master of Chemical Engineering at Cornell University. After graduating in 2014, she joined AguaClara LLC as a project engineer to lend technical support for implementation of the pilot systems in India. This enriching experience spurred her interest in understanding the interdisciplinary facets of water management. She is currently a Masters candidate in Sustainability Management (Water) at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on designing provincial bulk water pricing frameworks to promote efficient and sustainable water management.