On World Water Day 2016, the clarion call continues to gain support around the event organized by the UN Conference on Environment and Development in 1992.
A snapshot from CharityWater.org sets the stage:
- 663 million people live without clean water, nearly 1 in 10 people, or twice the population of the US.
- Diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war, and 43% of those deaths are children under five years old.
- In Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours a year walking for water and women are solely responsible for 72% of the water collected in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Access to clean water and basic sanitation can save around 16,000 lives every week.
The UN reports that half of all workers on the planet are employed in water-related sectors, and millions are unrecognized and unprotected.
International Business Times‘ photo essay is a reminder that one in 10 people on our planet still do not have access to clean, safe water.
Greg Allgood, VP Clean Water, said, “Today, I’m asking myself—are these goals really achievable or is this just a matter of trying to do as much as we can by 2030? Can we envision a world, less than 15 years from now, where the global water crisis is behind us? A world that no longer witnesses nearly 1,000 children dying every day from unsafe water, poor sanitation, and hygiene.”
Brands are stepping up in rising numbers to support the day.
— CNBC International (@CNBCi) March 22, 2016
— Stella Artois (@StellaArtois) March 8, 2016
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) March 22, 2016
— Unilever World (@UnileverWorld) March 21, 2016
— DAVIDsTEA (@DAVIDsTEA) March 22, 2016
General Mills has committed to champion water stewardship plans by 2025 for the company’s most material and at-risk watersheds in its global value chain. “Water stress is, in many cases, the embodiment of climate change,” said John Church, EVP supply chain for General Mills.
Nestlé Waters North America is bringing water education to nearly 600 elementary school children across the US at “Together 4 Water” festivals hosted by Project WET (Water Education for Teachers). “While children and adults alike feel a natural kinship to water, many have not had the chance to learn about what ties us to water,” said Nelson Switzer, chief sustainability officer for Nestlé Waters North America.
The 10th annual UNICEF Tap Project asks smartphone users to unplug and trigger a donation from Giorgio Armani Fragrances and Swell. “Every dollar donated or minute spent away from your phone counts,” said Caryl M. Stern, President/CEO US Fund for UNICEF. “Just $15 can provide a child with clean, safe water for one year.”
Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water’s is extending for a third year their “Crest to Coast” project in partnership with Inland Empire Waterkeeper focused on improving the watershed of the Santa Ana River and its tributaries over multiple years.
The Surfrider Foundation is asking citizens to join its “Every Drop Counts” campaign and pledge to skip a shower today. “A ten-minute shower could waste more than 40 gallons of water. If 25,000 people take the pledge, nearly one million gallons of water will be conserved on that day.”
Speakman, maker of high-performance shower heads and plumbing products, is urging consumers, hotels and shower enthusiasts to change the way they shower. Americans use 1.2 trillion gallons of water on showers alone with an average of 20 gallons per shower. Switching to a low-flow shower head, like the Speakman Reaction can reduce water waste by up to 20% per shower.
MGM Resorts International and WaterStart are working to create and maintain an innovations priority list for water-related technologies for use in MGM operations. Additionally, WaterStart will utilize MGM operations as a test-bed for companies working to improve water resource management and sustainability.
Delta Faucet aims to educate consumers on ways to increase water efficiency at home with simple kitchen and bathroom upgrades that can save water and lower monthly bills.
Bacardi has launched an in-house initiative, “No Straws” to remove straws and stirrers in cocktails at company events as part of its ongoing “Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future” campaign. Straws and stirrers are among the most collected pieces of ocean-trash and don’t biodegrade.
Cox Enterprises offers conservation tips such as, use a broom instead of 80 gallons from a hose to clean a patio; redirect gutter-spill from paved areas to flowers, trees and shrubs; use an on/off hose nozzle to avoid spillage of 600 gallons per hour.
GE and American Water are partnered on a digital alliance leveraging the power of data and analytics to improve national water infrastructure, using GE’s Predix cloud platform to provide real-time data to manage their critical water infrastructure assets 24 hours a day.
And for some other-worldly perspective from World of Warcraft:
— MGN WoW (@mgnWoW) March 22, 2016