It’s a movement

Run for Water

In 2007 the founding board members of the Run for Water Society conceptualized a unique event to be hosted in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The vision was to stage a top tier internationally recognized running event that would attract a wide range of participants and athletes and, at the same time, raise awareness – and funds – for people in the developing world who lack one of life’s basic necessities – clean water. Since 2008, this volunteer board has staged an annual road race and now additionally organizes trail runs and gravel grind events. 

All the funds raised – over $4,000,000 to date – go towards helping building clean water projects in some of the most remote and marginalized areas of Ethiopia.

Every Step a Ripple

Health & Clean Water

Runners possess an acute understanding of the importance of hydration – how critical clean drinking water is to sustaining fitness, health and life. In the Global South, the stakes are much higher. Estimates are that 1 billion people on our planet do not have access to a reliable source of clean water! The lack of a water source also means children, particularly young girls, cannot go to school. It means women cannot tend to their family or pursue a livelihood. Instead they spend their days attending to their daily water needs, frequently walking for hours to fetch water that is unsanitary. Each May, we encourage people of all ages and abilities to run for “Water” in order to help those in need access safe, clean water sources. Access to clean water is foundational to securing health, education and economic well-being. Join us!

Meseret, Sasiga, Ethiopia. Meseret and her family started drinking clean water for the first time in 2016. 

Growing a Movement

Run for Water Society

The members of Run For Water Society share the goal of promoting healthy physical activity and community spirit as well as raising funds for clean water development in under-privileged communities in rural Ethiopia.

Run for Water Foundation

Run for Water Foundation is a registered Canadian Charity and can issue tax receipts. Business Number: 829946037RR0001.

Run for Water Expansion

In 2011, the first annual Calgary Run for Water was held on September 10, with over 800 runners in their 10K and 5K events and raising over $50,000. In the future, we plan for Run for Water expansion in other participating cities.

Executive Director

Dean Dahl

Dean has over 25 years of regional, national and international leadership experience in the non-profit sector focusing on youth and action sports communities. As an experienced event director, Dean has started and directed annual charity cycling events across Western Canada, created a bi-annual international skateboarding community summit, and led North American leadership summits for action sport communities.

Building vibrant communities have been the priority of Dean’s life, from building local skateparks in Central America, hosting a podcast exploring the cultural impact of unique communities, and helping start a cycling club in the Fraser Valley. Dean has been connecting people through meaningful shared experiences.  “Clean water is not only essential to live, but it’s also a key ingredient to a thriving community. I’m thrilled to serve the running and cycling community here as together we serve needy communities around the world.” 

Dean and his family live in Yarrow, BC where you will regularly see him riding his gravel bike!


Jeremy Bensler

Kenneth MacKenzie

Mel Dick

Jonathan Brandt

Lorne Owen

Peter Wolfe

Wayne Bremner

Join Us



Ride for Water

Clean Water. It's a Movement. Run with it.

Responding to the water crisis in Africa

Copyright © 2022 All Rights Reserved by Run for Water 
Run for Water,  201 - 33933 Gladys Ave, Abbotsford BC V2S 2E8

Registered Canadian Charity 82994 6037 RR0001

Donation Disclaimer: 100% of your donations go directly to Ethiopia to bring clean water and improved education. All of our overhead cost is covered by a group of generous partners. If this year’s designated project is fully funded, Run for Water reserves the right to use excess funds to build additional water and education projects in other rural communities in Ethiopia.