457 Heather Crescent
Thunder Bay, ON P7E 5L1
President: Lynda Gehrels
Board Chair: Cheryl Hertan

Charitable Reg. #:88542 0737 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 92 cents are available for programs.

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About Lifewater Canada:

Lifewater Canada is a top rated 5-star charity and a top 10 impact charity. It has a high results reporting score and is financially transparent. The charity does not have large funding reserves and can cover less than 4 months of program costs. 

Founded in 1997, Lifewater Canada (Lifewater) is an international Christian charity that works to improve access to safe drinking water in Haiti, Liberia, Nigeria, and Kenya. Lifewater works to build infrastructure improving water access. It also provides hygiene and sanitation training to reduce illness from contaminated water. In F2023, Lifewater ran two main groups of programs. The first is its water access programs, which consist of building and maintaining wells and pumps. It also constructs rainwater catchment systems. The second is its hygiene and infrastructure programs, which focus on providing sanitation and hygiene training. Lifewater also provides materials and training to people who have received water supplies. Lifewater provides a detailed spending breakdown in its annual report. In F2023, Lifewater spent $2.8m on its programs.

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top Impact Charity

The water access program received $2.2m, comprising 77% of Lifewater’s spending in F2023.  Lifewater states that only 19% of children in Nigeria are born with access to safe drinking water. That fraction is 25% in Liberia, 52% in Haiti, and 58% in Kenya. Women and girls are usually responsible for gathering water. In F2023, Lifewater constructed 329 new wells and rehabilitated 419. It repaired 2,468 pumps and built 43 rainwater catchment tanks.  Lifewater provides a breakdown of program activities by country in its annual report.

The hygiene and infrastructure program received $646k in F2023, comprising 23% of Lifewater’s spending. Lifewater states that 1.7 billion people drink contaminated water each day. It reports that 505,000 die from diarrheal diseases each year. In F2023, lifewater ran 405 sanitation & health and hygiene programs. It built 25 community toilets and handwash stations. Lifewater provides a breakdown of program activities by country in its annual report.

Listen to CBC's November 2022 interview with Lifewater Canada's Lynda Gehrels on well drilling in Kenya, cost per well, pump repair updates in Liberia and 85 new water proposals per month in Nigeria. 

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Results and Impact

Lifewater reports that because of its programs, 323,000 hours are saved each day by children and adults who no longer need to travel long distances for water. It reports that children spent 4 million hours in school each month that otherwise would have been spent fetching water.

Lifewater states that all schools in communities served in Kisumu, Kenya report zero absenteeism due to waterborne illness. It also reports a reduction in school drop-outs due to pregnancies. Lifewater attributes this to a reduction in the common practice of trading sex for sanitary napkins or assistance carrying water.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Lifewater Canada’s results and impact.

Charity Intelligence has given Lifewater a High impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

A Charity Intelligence 2022 Top 10 Impact Charity


Impact Rating: High

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Lifewater received $2.8m in Canadian donations and $67k in international donations in F2023. It received $19k in in-kind donations.  Fundraising costs are 1% of donations and administrative costs are 7% of revenue. Total overhead spending is 8% of revenue. For every dollar donated, 92 cents are available to go to the cause.

At the end of F2023, Lifewater had $821k in reserve funds, which can cover roughly 4 months of its annual program costs.  This shows Lifewater has a need for funding.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Lifewater Canada for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Lifewater Canada for review. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on May 29, 2024 by Ben Dobozy

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 7.3%3.8%2.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 1.0%0.9%1.1%
Total overhead spending 8.2%4.6%3.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 29.2%30.4%148.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $s
Donations 2,840,5192,788,8071,919,101
International donations 67,32964,41985,556
Goods in kind 19,47914,664113,640
Other income 8,4821,460(1,362)
Total revenues 2,935,8092,869,3502,116,935
Program costs - International 2,814,6633,108,094897,820
Donated goods exp 19,47914,664113,640
Administrative costs 213,760108,30455,791
Fundraising costs 27,21623,76721,913
Total spending 3,075,1183,254,8291,089,164
Cash flow from operations (139,309)(385,479)1,027,771
Capital spending 000
Funding reserves 820,911945,3841,330,863

Note: Ci reported foreign exchange gain (loss) as other income. Ci removed donated goods-in-kind used in programs from international program costs and reported these amounts as donated goods used in programs.   

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 4

Avg. compensation: $37,327

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2023

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

Added on October 5th, 2023:

On behalf of our donors, we at Lifewater place a very high priority on cost-effectiveness and accountability. That’s why our overhead costs are consistently well below 10% each year, and why each completed project – even a relatively simple pump repair – has a dedicated page on our website where donors can see the tangible impact of their support through photos, a map, GPS coordinates, technical data, a brief profile of the benefiting community, and a thank-you letter from the community.


Learn more:

Lifewater's F2023 Annual Report

Charity Contact

Website: www.lifewater.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Tel: +1 807-622-4848


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001