“Water Filters for Families” Program

The Need for Clean, Safe Drinking Water

Just back from the beaches and tourist areas of Puerto Vallarta, many families do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. Many communities are not on the municipal water purification system. Sometimes families purchase water for 28 pesos for 4 gallons/19 liters but the average working person makes little more than 65 pesos per day. Many families in these communities get their water from the filthy rivers which are multi-use including use for animals and sewage.


The “Water Filter for Families” program was started in 2012 by Club Members Malcolm Laird and Sandra Stolz. As of March 2020, we have given more than 4,200 individual water filters to families, homes and schools in the Puerto Vallarta area, free of charge to the recipients. More than 17,000 people have received the benefit of clean, safe drinking water under this program! A number of these communities are up into the mountains, and several other communities are accessible only by boat.

Water Filters

In addition to receiving the water filter, “Water Filter School” is held wherein instructions on the use, cleaning and maintenance of the filter are given. Clean water storage, hand washing and sanitation are also discussed, and large posters are provided to schools and health centres which outline the importance of clean water and sanitation.


To date, funding has been provided through donations from individuals, charitable organizations, Rotary Clubs, and also through 2 Rotary District Grants, and 3 Rotary International Global Grants.


The cost of a filter kit is $45 USD. Because of the cost of this filter, we are able to supply people immediately with safe, clean drinking water and we are able to grow the distribution because of the low cost. With clean, safe drinking water, adults will be able to work and children attend school without the illnesses they currently are susceptible to caused by the unsafe drinking water. As a result, the benefits to the greater community and to society will be long term. 


The filters are supplied by Sawyer which has a history of working with Rotary to provide clean, safe drinking water worldwide.  The filters do not require any fuel, chemicals, batteries or particular knowledge. They require a clean bucket and regular cleaning with clean water. We provide a new plastic food-grade bucket for the filter as many communities which receive the water filters do not have any sort of water delivery systems to homes in their community. The syringe needed to clean the filter is provided with the filter, as are all instructions for use. 


The life expectancy of a filter is 1,000,000 gallons or 4,000,000 liters. The filters will be used constantly on an on-going basis. 


The families using the filters are very pleased that they have been given the gift of clean, safe drinking water. The people have expressed their gratitude and happiness, and community members state that the provision of clean, safe drinking water has had a significant positive impact on these communities! 


If you or your Rotary Club is interested in donating to the Water Filters for Families Project, wanting to participate in a Project Grant, or for more information, please Contact Us.


More information is also available for download below the Photo Gallery.


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“Water Filters for Families” Program Information