Guest Editorial: Water Buffalos Celebrate 10 Years of Riding With Purpose

April 17, 2015

Water Buffalos live in herds with anywhere from a few buffalo, to bigger herds that commonly have hundreds. The larger the herd gets, the stronger it gets. The same is true for the Water Buffalos of Ride With Purpose, the 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising money and awareness to the need for clean and safe water around the world.

I became part of the herd in 2008 when I participated in my first Water Buffalos ride to Atlanta, GA. While the motorcycle ride was exhilarating, I realized that it was only part of the Water Buffalos’ mission to raise awareness and money for non-profit organizations (including Water For People and others) that provide safe drinking water, sani­tation services, and environmental stewardship to developing countries.

From my first ride, I was convinced that this organization had the potential to change lives by helping developing countries all over the world overcome their water and sanitation challenges. Seven years later, I am proud to join the newly elected Executive Committee of Ride With Purpose, whose members are:

  • Alex Hood, President (Alex is also the Operations and Production Manager at M.E. Simpson Co., Inc)
  • Sandy Smith, Vice President (Water Production Superintendent at DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management)
  • Tina Roncalli, Secretary (Northeast Sales Director at Aclara Technologies LLC)
  • Tim Wilson, Treasurer (Director of Water Production at Marshalltown Water Works)
  • Dennis Ross, Sergeant-At-Arms (General Manger at Otter Lake Water Commission)

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2015, Ride With Purpose has raised over $650,000 through organized motorcycle and related events to support efforts to provide safe water and wastewater service in underdeveloped areas. Why is this so important?

  • Seven hundred and fifty million people around the world lack access to safe water—approximately one in nine people.
  • More than twice the population of the United States lives without access to safe water.
  • More than 840,000 people a year die from a water-related illness.

We can help. The herd has grown to 74 members strong, and together we are delivering life-changing results. In order to continue providing funds and other support to water- and wastewater-related charities that aid in developing safe and reliable infrastructure in underdeveloped areas, we need to continue to grow the herd. Membership is open to all water and wastewater industry professionals, motorcycle enthusiast or not. Know a friend or colleague who might be interested? Spread the word about the herd.

Join the Water Buffalos on the motorcycle ride to end all rides and be part of something amazing. Not only is this the ride of a lifetime, it is also a great opportunity to raise money for the non-profit, non-government organization Water For People. The ride begins from several locations across the US and Canada, and ends at the American Water Works Association National Conference (ACE) in Anaheim, CA, in June.

Water For People
Founded in 1991 as a non-profit organization, Water For People creates reliable access to safe drinking water resources, sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs in Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America. Through its business-oriented development approach, the group empowers local communities to plan, build, finance, maintain, and operate their own safe water and sanitation services. Water For People puts long-lasting solutions at the forefront of its strategy, fostering entrepreneurism and innovations that are adaptable worldwide to water and sanitation problems. The organization monitors projects for at least 10 years post-implementation to guarantee the impact of the work. More importantly, Water For People provides technology that the communities understand, so residents know how to maintain systems and secure parts for it in their own countries. To learn more about Water For People, visit

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, individual donations, or joining the ride and becoming a Water Buffalo, visit or e-mail [email protected]. Hope to see you in the herd in June!

About the Author

Tina Roncalli

Tina Roncalli is the northeast region sales director for Aclara Technologies LLC, a world-class supplier of smart infrastructure solutions to water, gas, and electric utilities globally.

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