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DigDeep’s Colonias Water Project Recognized as 2024 Gold Winner in Human & Civil Rights for The 3rd Annual Anthem Awards

The awards honor purpose-driven work by people and organizations worldwide.

Access to clean water is a human right, and it is well within the resources of the United States to ensure that every person has running water at home.”
— Kathryn Lucero, Director of DigDeep’s Colonias Water Project
LOS ANGELES, CA, US, February 2, 2024 / -- DigDeep’s Colonias Water Project, which works to bring clean running water and proper sanitation to households in the Texas colonias, has been named a 2024 Gold Winner in the Human & Civil Rights Special Projects category of The 3rd Annual Anthem Awards. Launched in 2021 by The Webby Awards, The Anthem Awards honors the purpose & mission-driven work of people, companies and organizations worldwide.

DigDeep, a human rights nonprofit working to ensure every person in the United States has access to clean water and proper sanitation, launched the Colonias Water Project in Cochran, Texas, a small community in El Paso County with 72 residential lots that lacked municipal services, even though piped water was just a half mile away. Without piped water, Cochran families had been forced to spend significant portions of their monthly budgets on bottled water or non-potable water, or haul water from nearby wells.

DigDeep worked collaboratively with residents, local nonprofits, county and state officials to innovate a new model for public-private partnership, unlock transformative housing grants, and build a water access model that can be replicated in other colonias along the border. The Colonias Water Project broke ground in Cochran in July 2022 and, by December 2022, had turned on the taps in every home. The team is already laying the groundwork to expand water access work into five additional Texas colonias.

“It is an honor for our team’s hard work to be recognized by The Anthem Awards,” said Kathryn Lucero, Director of DigDeep’s Colonias Water Project. “Access to clean water is a human right, and it is well within the resources of the United States to ensure that every person has running water at home. Helping to bring this basic infrastructure to Cochran is just the first step in our ongoing work within the Texas colonias.”

DigDeep’s Colonias Water Project is one of three regional field projects for the human rights nonprofit, which also connects families with running water and proper sanitation in households on the Navajo Nation and in Appalachia. DigDeep is a leading voice in research and data tracking for water access in the United States, with active efforts to improve coalition building and policymaking around national and regional water and sanitation (WASH) issues.

“The Anthem Awards were born out of the desire to amplify and celebrate the voices that are creating sustainable change and to inspire others to take action,” said Patricia McLoughlin, Anthem Awards General Manager. “In a year where so much is at stake, it is incredibly important to recognize impact work and celebrate the progress happening globally. Congratulations to all of this year’s Winners.”

This year’s Anthem Award Winners were selected from a pool of over 2,000 submissions from 44 countries by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Anthem judges are intellectually diverse leaders from across the impact industry with expertise that spans across the Anthem cause areas. IADAS members include: Heather Dowdy, Director of Product Accessibility, Netflix; Alex Amouyel, President & CEO, Newman’s Own Foundation; Noel Kinder, Chief Sustainability Officer, Nike; Shaniqua McClendon, Vice President of Politics, Crooked Media/Vote Save America; Rawle Andrews Jr., Esq., Executive Director, American Psychiatric Association Foundation; Alison Moore, CEO, Comic Relief US; Christina Lang, Vice President of North American Marketing, Mozilla; Michelle Waring, Steward for Sustainability and Everyday Good, Tom’s of Maine; and more.

By amplifying the voices that spark global change, the Anthem Awards are defining a new benchmark for impactful work that inspires others to take action in their communities. A portion of program revenue is allocated to the Anthem Award’s grant program, The Anthem Fund. This year the Anthem Fund partnered with Billion Oyster Project to support their work to restore and conserve New York’s waterways.

For more information on DigDeep’s Colonias Water Project, please visit

ABOUT DIGDEEP: ​​DigDeep is a human rights nonprofit working to ensure every person in the United States has access to clean running water and sanitation at home. The organization has served thousands of families across the country through its award-winning and community-led field projects: the Navajo Water Project (Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah), Appalachia Water Project (West Virginia), and Colonias Water Project (Texas). DigDeep is a leading force in U.S. water access research, workforce development, and policy advocacy, underscoring its commitment to addressing the sector's lack of comprehensive data. Notable national reports, including "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan" and "Draining: The Economic Impact of America’s Hidden Water Crisis," unveiled the harsh reality that over 2 million people in the U.S. live without a toilet or tap at home, which costs the American economy a staggering $8.6 billion annually. For more information, please visit

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