Defending the Basic Human Right to Water: Meet George McGraw, Founder of DIGDEEP

31 Aug 2015 by Jason's Connection

Recently Jason’s Connection’s Founder, Jason Harris, spoke with George McGraw, the Founder and Executive Director of DIGDEEP, an organization that is working with community and nonprofit leaders to bring improved water access to over 370 Navajo in New Mexico. They also have projects in Uganda, South Sudan, and Cameroon.

In this eye-opening interview, Mr. McGraw talks about the basic human right to water, how to defend it, what DIGDEEP does, and what everyone can do to help be part of the solution to this very serious problem.

“We really believe water is a basic human right. We should put people at the center… let communities decide for themselves what kind of water access they want.”

Some facts to note:

  • Approximately 1.7 million Americans don’t have clean running water in their homes;
  • Water poverty affects 13% of Native Americans;
  • Water poverty affects people in Appalachia, migrants, and the urban homeless;
  • The average American uses 100 gallons of water per day, while people who experience water scarcity have to get by with 7 gallons or less;
  • 80% of the global disease burden is caused in some way by unsafe water or sanitation.
Interview With George McGraw

Communities rely on individual health and happiness to grow and flourish.
People can only come together as a community… when they’re happy and healthy at home.”

DIGDEEP is committed to defending the human right to water. They transform lives with clean water and safeguard human dignity. Each of their water projects is designed using a human rights-based approach, a practical model that integrates rights and dignity into the plans and processes of development. They treat each stakeholder holistically, using human rights principles to achieve outcomes like ownership, equity, participation, and rule of law. Recipient communities are not expected to be grateful – they’re expected to be proactive – empowered to defend their own rights in the future. They use their work to educate and empower people worldwide. DIGDEEP is changing the way people think about water, protecting water access as a human right through education and awareness.

For more information on DIGDEEP, please visit:

For more about the 4-Liter Challenge, please visit:

For a downloadable podcast of this interview, please visit:

“The amount of water we have in the world is finite, so we’re all in this together.”


George McGraw

George McGraw is the Founder and Executive Director of DIGDEEP. He has a simple goal: to change the way people think about water. He built DIGDEEP to defend access to clean water as a basic human right.