To celebrate their 5th Anniversary of helping people gain access to clean water all over the world, charity: water has announced an ambitious campaign to raise $1.2M for new drilling equipment. The package includes a rig ($700K), compressor and truck ($200K), support trucks ($100K) and pipes, bits, tools, etc ($200K). 

Since 2006, the organization has raised over $40M, benefiting nearly 2 million people in 19 countries. Their funding is rather unique in that 100% of donations go towards clean water initiatives, with financial support for staff drawn from other sources. They were also one of the first to take advantage of Twitter's serious fundraising capabilities, using celebrity support and brilliant social media prowess to become the leading non-profit in the Twitterverse

For the first time ever, founder Scott Harrison is turning towards equipment as a means to give people access to clean water and a better future. 

"Our local partner Relief Society of Tigray (REST), plans to serve 100% of northern Ethiopia with access to clean water," the campaign site reads. "Their strategy includes many water solutions: drilled wells, hand-dug wells, spring protections and rainwater catchments, to name a few. We want to help them reach the target number of drilled wells sooner, which will speed up their plan to achieve 100% coverage."

Purchasing a new rig and its corresponding equipment will allow for 80 additional well per year to be dug in Ethiopia, servicing more than 40,000 people. Even better, if charity: water reaches their $1.2M goal, a second rig will be donated courtesy of long-time supporter Virginia Clay. 

In the organization's continued tradition of transparency, each rig will have a GPS unit mounted so that anyone can see where it is in the world at any given moment. 

"The water problem is big," Harrison says in a promotional video for the campaign, "but it can be solved. And after five years of work, now more than ever, we are determined to bring clean and safe drinking water to every single person on the planet. Join us." 

Check out the video below - or to help fundraise for the campaign/make a donation, hit the official site here

The 2011 September Campaign. Our 5-year-anniversary video from charity: water on Vimeo.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Clean water org seeks $1.2M for drilling rig
charity: water announces 5th anniversary campaign to purchase a drilling rig and help change the lives of people in Ethiopia.