Drinking Water For West Bengal

By Rudi Dundas for Blue Planet Network and Project Well

The Water Crisis is not just about scarcity. India has a lot of water but so much of it we cannot drink.

Six Million people are now drinking arsenic contaminated water in the nine affected districts of West Bengal. Project Well has installed over 200 arsenic free bore-dugwells to provide safe drinking water to the afflicted villages of West Bengal, India, where people have been dying from the effects of naturally occurring arsenic in their water.

Blue Planet Network, whose mission is to set the quality standard for sustainable safe drinking water projects in developing nations, sponsored me to go to West Bengal in November of 2010 for Project Well. I visited over 35 well communities and met with people who had lost family members due to arsenic. I brought back photos and videos of stories – children now in school, husbands returned to work, and lives better now that people are not sick all the time.

A dugwell that will provide drinking water for hundreds of people, every day costs only $1000. I helped Meera Hira-Smith, director of Project Well with several fund raising presentations, made a booklet ( for them to use for outreach and mounted an exhibition ( at the Velcro Gallery in San Francisco to benefit Project Well.

This venture started as a single project for me as a photographer. It has developed into a life calling. I now devote full time to serving non-profit organizations devoted to drinking water issues.


Photographer: Rudi Dundas / professional

Photographer Website:

Award Year: 2011

Non Profit: Blue Planet Network and Project Well

Non Profit Website:

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