Founded in 2010 by four students at The Ohio State University, the Pure Water Access Project was designed to offer an effective new approach to guaranteeing clean water access throughout the world. With a combination of research skills, cutting-edge technology, and an eagerness to make a difference, the Pure Water Access Project launched its first initiative in Nicaragua in 2012.

The organization grew into a successful nonprofit. It raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist small-to-medium-sized nonprofits use research methods to improve their clean water work, sent dozens of students across the world to learn about the nonprofit sector, and partnered on projects that affected thousands in places as varied as the United States, Ghana, Peru, and El Salvador. Though it was guided by experts, it remained exclusively led by students.

In 2019, the Board of Trustees decided it was time to close the doors on this chapter of the Pure Water Access Project. However, they kept the mission alive by donating the nonprofit’s remaining funds to The Ohio State University to establish the Pure Water Access Project Scholarship. This scholarship now offers financial support to one undergraduate student conducting faculty-sponsored research each year at The Ohio State University, with a preference for students conducting work in the clean water sector. In doing so, all those who supported the Pure Water Access Project will continue to have an impact for decades to come.