Program Launches To Support Indigenous Youth On World Water Day

March 20, 2018
water first logo a charity that helps indigenous youth

Need is urgent with 40% of First Nations communities in Ontario under boil water advisory

KITCHENER, ONTARIO | March 20, 2018 - Alert Labs, maker of smart sensors that have saved over 15 million litres in wasted water, is now supporting First Nations communities to make drinking water safe. For the month beginning March 22 on World Water Day, until Earth Day on April 22, the company is donating $25 for every online sale of their water sensor, Flowie, to the Water First Internship program. In an effort to champion responsible water treatment education, Alert Labs has partnered with the internship initiative to engage First Nations youth in skills training around water treatment technology.

First Nations communities in Canada don’t have the same access to safe drinking water enjoyed elsewhere in the country. Forty percent of First Nations communities in Ontario are under a boil water advisory. Water First started as a clean drinking water project in Uganda but changed focus to start helping Indigenous peoples right here in Canada.

Clean water a basic human right

“Access to clean water is a basic human right,” says Ruth Casselman, Alert Labs COO and Co-founder. “In searching for global programs supporting water initiatives, we were surprised to find such an urgent need in our own backyard. We are very honoured to partner with Water First to support their local water training initiatives.”

There are 10 First Nations youth currently enrolled in the Internship program in order to learn about water treatment. Graduates gain certifications that allow them to work in the water treatment industry and in areas such as environmental stewardship.

Internship program to expand

John Millar, Executive Director of Water First, says, “The donation from Alert Labs will help us expand the Water First Internship, which trains and supports the next generation of Indigenous water operators in northern First Nations communities.”

A donation of $25 from every sale of the Flowie water sensor on Alert Labs’ website will help expand the 18-month pilot program, currently running on Manitoulin Island. Flowie is a smart sensor that is strapped on a water meter to monitor water use in real-time. It helps water conservation by identifying how water is being wasted and by detecting leaks that cause water damage. On average, Flowie has reduced customers’ water use by 18% by identifying sources of wasted water in homes and businesses.

Donate to Water First Internship

Donations can be made directly to Water First at

About Alert Labs

Alert Labs Inc. provides award-winning water and AC intelligence solutions with the AlertAQ™ platform and IoT sensors designed and built in North America. Founded in 2015, the company helps organizations protect assets, lower operating costs and increase sustainability at their buildings. Alert Labs analyzes more than 25,000,000,000 gallons of water every year, has saved customers over $20,000,000 and has reduced CO2e emissions by over 36,000,000 pounds. Alert Labs is a subsidiary of Watsco Inc., the largest HVAC/R Distributor in North America.

About Water First

Founded in 2009, Water First started as a clean drinking water project in Uganda. Working with First Nations communities in Canada since 2012, the organization helps resolve water challenges by implementing skills training programs in First Nations communities. Water First now focuses solely on First Nations water challenges, including drinking water and environmental water quality concerns. Guided by the belief that everyone has the right to safe, clean drinking water, Water First works closely with First Nations communities to integrate Indigenous values, customs, and traditions into their training programs.

Facebook: @waterfirstngo
Twitter: @waterfirstngo
Instagram: @waterfirstngo

For media inquiries, please contact:

Alert Labs Inc.:
Marketing Team

John Millar
Executive Director & Founder
Water First - First Nations Water Solutions
+1 (905) 805-0854 or 1-800-970-8467
Registered Canadian Charity:
83852 5269 RR0001

Learn more about how Alert Labs is helping organizations use resources more responsibly and protect people and buildings from damage.