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Clean drinking water is vital for humans to live healthy lives. Without it, we would all be at risk of disease and death, and unfortunately this is the reality for many people around the world. ElliotForWater hopes to help alleviate this problem, by supporting clean drinking water projects in remote areas, working closely with local firms to build sustainable clean water projects, often using solar power.
An admirable endeavor, then, but how do they go about doing this? With a small crack team, Elliot For Water pump the majority of their site's earnings into local projects within struggling areas, such as in Guinea-Bissau in Africa. They raise money when you use their search engine, taking funds from advertisers and redistributing those into safe water projects. All you need to do, is use the search engine. The site claims that you can donate a liter of water per search. It seems a lot, but who are we to question their statistics? If so, the average person could donate hundreds or even thousands of liters of water per week when using this charitable search engine.
We liked the fact that this seemed like a personal project, run by a small team. They are clearly passionate about their helping others, and there's potential to really change the lives of a lot of people. They are also transparent about their work and figures, providing regular updates on the number of users, modules sent and villages reached. At the time of this review, they've only managed to work with two villages, but this could increase if they have more support.
A personal project, run by a small team. They are clearly passionate about their helping others.
But gaining that support really comes down to how user-friendly their services are. Sure, good will is great, but if the search engine doesn't cut the mustard, nobody will want to use it. Let's take a look, then, at some of the main features of the site, and discern whether or not you might be interested in giving it a try…
Elliot For Water works closely with Solwa technologies, using solar-based energy to purify water and distribute it to the people who need it. This also includes irrigation on arid soils to help grow food in areas which are struggling with drought and other problems. The projects appear to be led by the small team, who visit locations to help maintain relationships with locals, to discover what they need and how it can be delivered. They spend 60% of their income on the devices from Solwa Technologies, although make little note of where the rest of the money goes. Some, surely, must pay for the trips out to visit the locations they work with, for better or worse. Aside from those specific projects, which are outlined on their website (so far reaching two villages), there appears to be no further charity work going on under the Elliot For Water umbrella. So, if you want more of a say in where the money goes, you may not get it. But if you like the work they are already doing, this could be a search engine which needs your support.
The ElliotForWater.com search engine is cleanly designed, with modern images which remind you of its cause. Searches are relatively quick, offering enough results to satisfy most needs. These services are provided by Bing. They also offer maps, which work reasonably well from those we tested.
Whilst the site claims to offer image and video searches, in practice this wasn't the case. There were no video or image results when we tried multiple searches, and this was disappointing. Perhaps they aim to provide these in the future, and it would certainly be a big benefit to users.
There wasn't much information on the privacy of your data, and the site's terms of agreement were fairly generic. They suggest that your searches may contain links to third-party websites, but that they take no responsibility for those sites, which is fair enough. You can change your privacy controls to avoid sexually explicit sites or other content which you deem unsuitable, but these options are very limited. More could be done here to help you understand how your personal data is protected or distributed, as well as offering more filtering options.
One area in which this site seems to excel, is in their obvious dedication to ecology. They are helping to bring clean water to poor areas of the world, raising money to support local industry, all whilst making sure the industries they use are not causing a negative effect on the environment, through the use of solar power. Therefore, if you want to support clean water initiatives which won't cause undue pollution, Elliot For Water seems like a good bet. They provide fairly substantial details of their projects and aims, so there's information if you want to find out more. Given the passionate nature of their projects, we also assume they would be keen to chat with you about their projects if you have any hesitations.
Obvious dedication to ecology.
There are currently no add-ons or apps available, and no browser extensions from what we could see. However, you can easily set ElliotForWater.com as your home page (they have a quick-set button for this) so that you don't need to keep typing in the site's URL to perform a search.
Elliot For Water does some admirable work, with a small and dedicated team. Their projects look like they could have real potential, with enough support.
However, the actual search engine needs work. It's very limited compared with others, only allowing you to perform a normal search or look at maps, neither of which really offers enough filtering options for our liking. If they can work on this, and add image and video searches, they might just stand a better chance of attracting more users. Still, if you don't mind those drawbacks, and you're passionate about clean water, it's worth exploring ElliotForWater to find out more about what they do, and their goals for the future.
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