Clean Water & Global Sustainability
In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March as the first World Water Day. UN-Water would like the world to recognize this day by finding ways to make a difference for those who suffer from water related issues, and to prepare for how we manage water in the future.
In 2015, the theme for World Water Day is ‘Water and Sustainable Development.’ On the Water Day website, UN-Water links this theme to health, nature, urbanization, industry, energy, food, and equality.
Health: Despite impressive gains made over the last decade, 748 million people do not have access to an improved source of drinking water. 2.5 billion do not use an improved sanitation facility.
Nature: All freshwater ultimately depends on the healthy functioning of ecosystems, yet most economic models do not value the health ecosystems, leading to degradation.
Urbanization: One in two people in the world live in a city, and every week one million people move into cities. Many antiquated infrastructure systems waste more water than they deliver. In many fast-growing cities, wastewater infrastructure is non-existent, inadequate or outdated.
Industry: Every manufactured product requires water. Technology and smart planning reduce the use of water, and can improve the quality of wastewater.
Energy: Over 80% of power is created by water heated to drive generators, and billions of gallons of water are needed for cooling. Using alternative water sources, using renewable energy, and adopting closed-loop cooling technologies can reduce strain on the earth’s fresh water supply can be reduced.
Food: While only one liter of water is needed to irrigate one calorie of food, inefficient water use often results in 100 liters being used to produce that calorie. Diets are shifting from starches to meat and dairy, which require more water. By 2050, agriculture will need to produce 60% more food globally. This demand on freshwater resources is unsustainable.
Equality: In developing nations the responsibility for collecting water every day falls disproportionately on females. On average, these women spend 25 percent of their day collecting water. This is time that could be spent working, caring for family or attending school.
In support of World Water Day, Conscious Connection would like to inform its readers about two online initiatives that can be supported with a few simple clicks on your keyboard.
Waves 4 Water & Hurley Team Up for Clean Water Access
Waves 4 Water has partnered with sporting apparel giant Hurley International and other organizations to help address global water issues. Waves 4 Water developed a DIY volunteer program called Clean Water Couriers, in which surfers in search of waves in third-world countries take filters with them when they travel. The surfers then either connect with local non-profits in that area to have the filters installed, or personally travel to villages to set them up themselves.
In support of World Water Day, Waves for Water and Hurley are extending their generosity in the water filtration initiative. VP for Global Outreach Ben Edwards says that, for Hurley, the day is ultimately about changing lives. Together with Waves for Water, they hope to show how easy it is to make a difference and inspire others to join the movement with something as little, and as big, as the ‘#nofilter’ hashtag.
Since it’s common for Instagram users to add a filter to enhance their photos, people often use #nofilter when posting unaltered images to indicate that what you’re seeing is exactly what they were seeing. “#nofilter” is one of the highest hashtag posts on Instagram, with over 114 million images.
Waves for Water’s concept is to make those posts part of the solution. Beginning March 22, for every post to #nofilter on Instagram, one gallon of clean water will be made accessible by Waves 4 Water and Hurley around the world.
Hurley will also lead a follow-up mission to last year’s campaign to provide over 100,000 people with access to clean water. They will be travelling back to Nicaragua to access the filters installed and documenting the improvement. And of course, they will bring more filters with them to install.
Care2.com Petitions EPA, United Nations
In 1998, Care2.com became the first online petition website. They’ve cultivated an incredible community of advocates: they are largest online community for social good at 28 million members strong. Care2 has enabled people to succeed in righting injustices not only through their petitions, but also through their ability to connect with decision-makers.
For World Water Day, Care2 is helping to elevate an online petition to ensure that the EPA listens to the wants/needs/calls of people across the country to protect our waters and keep them clean. Simply stated, the petition reads, “Dear EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Clean water is vital to our health and our way of life – whether we are fishing, swimming, camping, or drinking a glass of water. As we mark World Water Day this month, I urge you to do everything you can to protect all of America’s waterways.” Click here to sign this petition.
Another incredibly important Care2 petition is hoping to influence United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for water. On September 25 through September 27, 2015, a United Nations summit will be meeting in New York City and establishing Sustainable Development Goals for the next fifteen years. The last time they met, in the year 2000, they failed to name water and sanitation as a priority. Clearly, UN-water and the establishment of Water Day in 1993 indicate that the UN is well-aware of the problems at hand. Regardless, perhaps if it had been named as a significant priority, fewer of the millions of people who still don’t have access to water for drinking or sanitation would be suffering, and women and girls who still spend hours collecting water for their families would have time for work and education.
By signing the petition, you can help Care2 in their efforts to ensure that water issues are prioritized on the UN’s agenda. Please also share this site with your online networks and encourage others to do the same.
Written by Gail Morrison