A desert tour with a mission.

GS bikers provide clean drinking water in Mongolia.

The committed people of Waves for Water have set their sights high: the globetrotters' initiative with filter systems and on-site training around the world ensures that contaminated water becomes potable drinking water. Their mission led the team through the Gobi Desert to the most remote corners of Mongolia, on their BMW R 1200 GS, as part of "Follow the Trails of the GS Trophy".   

Do good as a globetrotter.

It started in 2009, when passionate surfer and globetrotter Jon Rose wanted to give something back to the people in the most remote corners of the world: clean drinking water. He started to take water filter systems with him on his tours. The result was Waves for Water a charity that now operates in 37 countries and has already installed over 150,000 water filters. Around eight million people have been given access to clean drinking water. The BMW Group is a partner of the organization and has been supporting them since 2015 through its Care4Water initiative from BMW Group Financial Services.  

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Sensible, sustainable – not forgetting fun.

Many Mongolians roam the steppes and deserts on camels - some participants of the mission came into close contact with the animals and dared a ride.

Sensible, sustainable – not forgetting fun.

The vast area in eastern and central Asia is the epitome of desert. Between the largest sand dunes in the world with a height of up to 300 metres, shepherds and nomads roam endless steppes on camels. The Gobi Desert is six times the size of Germany and the third largest and coldest desert in the world. Regular droughts and small amounts of surface water result in water scarcity – and that little water is often undrinkable. Reason enough for Field Operations Director Robert McQueen and his team at Waves for Water to set out to help.  

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With professional yet low-maintenance water filtration systems, Robert and his team have been significantly improving the water quality in remote villages since 2013. "Mongolia is a fantastic country with great people who need help." Robert McQueen describes his motivations and states: "Supporting local people while doing what you enjoy – discovering the world on your motorcycle – at the same time is fantastic."  

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"
Do what you love and help along the way.
"

Motto of Waves for Water

A dash of colour in the steppe: The Mongolian yurts are typical dwellings for the country in which the participants of the "Waves for Water" mission were accommodated.

With the GS in remote villages.

Waves for Water experts train people in the Mongolian steppe to properly operate and service the plastic containers, connectors, tubing, and filters they provide. This allows them to draw clean drinking water for years. Almost 750 of them have already been installed. And in extremely remote villages. Their BMW 1200 GS have brought them everywhere so far.

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Eight to twelve hours through the desert.

The team from Waves for Water was on the R 1200 GS for the first time and is completely enthusiastic about the versatility of the bike.

Eight to twelve hours through the desert.

For Robert McQueen, motorcycle tours in exotic regions of the world are nothing new. However, there was one innovation for him in Mongolia: "For our projects in Afghanistan and Bosnia, I was always on the move with smaller machines. Mongolia was my first tour with a GS. I have to say: it was crazy! The power and robustness of these machines make a huge difference. That was terrific." They travelled eight to twelve hours a day – often on never-ending tours through scree, steppe and fascinating landscapes.

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People want to understand – and trust.

The crucial moment in their work is when people put their trust in Waves for Water's work. "We bring people the latest filter technologies and explain everything to them clearly. But more important than understanding is the trust they build in us," says Robert McQueen. So it is very important that people integrate the filtering of their water into their day-to-day village life. This is also helped by the serviceability of the devices, which last up to 20 years.

 

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Thumbs up for humanity as a lifestyle - in the spirit of the Spirit of GS.

The people of Waves for Water operate according to their own self-conception a kind of "guerilla humanism". In other words, they simply take things into their own hands and bring the solution directly to the problem with their motorcycles. Humanity as a lifestyle: you do what you love – sailing, surfing, riding a motorcycle – and connect it with something meaningful, good, and sustainable for society. An efficient, decentralized model for positive global change. To find out more about their work, visit their website: www.wavesforwater.org  

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The Spirit of GS is taking over.

The BMW R 1200 GS provided to Waves for Water by BMW Motorrad are impressive and inspire the team again and again. Especially when it comes to extreme conditions, such as long tours and rough terrain, they prove their superiority. Because paved roads are a rarity in this region. Robert McQueen: "At first I did not want to believe that it makes any difference which motorcycle you are riding. I was wrong. We really caught the GS virus."  

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"
Our cooperation with BMW helps us to reach people – in more ways than one.
"

Robert McQueen

Big team, big commitment: Waves for Water has a long-term effect and paves the way for a better world.

Commitment connects – sustainably and in the long term.

Employees at Waves for Water have been involved in the BMW Group since 2015 as part of their Care4Water initiative. The goal of the long-term collaboration is to support water filtration projects at the various sites where BMW is active. The fact that BMW Motorrad also makes a decisive contribution to the success of the projects as part of "Follow the Trails of the GS Trophy" is partly down to the fact that we provide bikes that can take you anywhere. But it's also because we have the desire to pave the way towards a better world.

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