The success of a water project depends on the members of the community involved. Before we can begin work, there must be:
- An invitation from the community itself
- A clearly drafted proposal from a local water committee
- A commitment by community members to contribute the labor, with Waterlines volunteers providing technical advice.
- A long-term agreement by the community to maintain the water system in the future
Through site visits by U.S. volunteers, plus communication from individuals within the overseas communities, Waterlines remains in contact with communities over the years to ensure that clean drinking water continues to flow. When necessary, Waterlines provides additional technical expertise, and in limited cases, additional funding for repairs beyond the capacity of the local community or authorities to carry out.
Projects are sometimes linked with specific sponsors. Waterlines encourages representatives from sponsoring organizations to visit the communities and see first-hand the projects they have helped to fund.
Waterlines remains an all-volunteer organization. Technical volunteers who work abroad are reimbursed for travel and in-country expenses. All contributions to Waterlines go toward the drinking water projects themselves.