CAWST's CEO and co-founder, Camille Dow Baker, put aside her 20-year history as an executive in the oil and gas industry to study environmental design at the University of Calgary in 1998. There, she met Dr. David Manz, the inventor of a simple device for household water treatment called the Biosand Filter. Camille and David co-founded CAWST to answer the question, "How can we get proven technologies in the hands of the millions that need safe water?" Since 2001, CAWST has taken a unique approach to the problem of water and sanitation for the poor. Instead of starting with technology solutions, CAWST starts with education and training to build local capacity.
CAWST has grown into a thriving and impactful organization that Camille originally envisioned ten years ago. As of June 2011, CAWST has impacted 4.6 million people with improved water in 69 countries and delivers its services through a network of more than 2000 government and non-government organizations throughout the developing world. Providing training to organizations involved in the delivery of a household water treatment program is a catalyst for effective, sustainable, replicable and scalable service delivery to the poor. We need to build the capacity of local institutions to provide continuous services without us.
CAWST is far from a single-technology organization. Our research and education program development teams have expanded our expertise in an array of water and sanitation technologies, project implementation and education methodologies. Our International Services team has delivered these training programs to project implementers, product manufacturers and community health promoters--all of the roles necessary for a community-based water and sanitation program. The curriculum includes modules on everything from project planning to manufacturing and community health education.