Saturday, March 21, 2009

World Water Day

(co-written by Lee Fox & Christine Guardia)

Water is an essential element of life, yet more than 20% of our world’s population is robbed of this basic necessity. The situation is tragic: 1-billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water; another 2.4-billion consume water that has been improperly sanitized; and there are more than 5-million deaths each year from water-related diseases.

One child dies every eight seconds as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. At any moment, almost half the population in a developing country is suffering from a disease linked to lack of access to clean water and sanitation. Women and children are most affected, because they walk some 200 million hours every day for water which often prevents them from earning a living or going to school.

While no single person or organization can resolve a global issue of this magnitude, we believe bringing our collective good-will together in social action can make a positive difference. Members of civic society, brands, not-for-profit organizations, and local governments have to unite.

Today’s kids can do some social good in this context as well.

From simple walks/hikes/runs (serving as a reminder to how far some villagers have to go to get clean water) to artistic contests, concerts and film festivals, there are a wide-variety of events being held around the globe in observance of World Water Day.

Encouraging the next generation to take an active role in ensuring the sustainability of the earth’s water supply is paramount. Some of the youth-oriented opportunities of which KooDooZ is aware includes:

  • Nature’s Voice Our Choice is the theme of this internet-based poetry competition.
  • The TAP project has partnered with restaurants in featured cities to help UNICEF provide safe drinking water to the world’s children.
  • Live online music concert to raise money and awareness for world water issues.
  • Dream Village, a children’s book publisher which allows kids to determine the outcome of their charitable donations, is sponsoring the World Changer Contest for children ages 6 to 10. Entries are due by May 1st for the opportunity to win a full scholarship to Beam Camp, a four-week summer program for boys and girls ages 7 to 17 in Strafford, New Hampshire.
  • Little Drops, Big Ripples, is new contest launched by Purex Natural Elements for Canadian residents to submit their tips on how to keep water resources clean. For every entry received, Purex will make a donation to the Clean Water Project. In the U.S. consumers can bid on a tote designed by a celebrity and proceeds will be donated to the Earth Day Network.
  • All The Way To The Ocean is a visual book developed to give kids the chance to understand the cause and effect relationship between our cities’ trash filled storm drains and the worlds water gateways.
  • Make your voice heard by signing an online petition to add Article 31 (right to water) to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) for adoption by the United Nations General Assembly.

Conceived 17-years ago by a United Nations committee as an international day of observance, March 22nd is not the only day we need to conserve our water. If current trends continue, the United Nations estimates that by the year 2025, two-thrids of the people in this world will not have sufficient access to clean water.

So what can you and your kids do? Start by looking at your water use at home:

180-gallons used to water your garden
60-gallons used to fill a bath-tub
60-gallons used to run the laundry machine
50-gallons used to run a shower (25-gallons if run "soft")
12-gallons used to run a dishwasher
5-gallons used to flush a toilet
2-4 gallons used to brush your teeth

On average, people in the U.S. use more than 100-gallons of water a day, while people in most developing countries use less than 2-gallons daily. If you shortened your shower by 1-or-2 minutes, you could save up to 700-gallons of water per month. Find more ideas on how to conserve from this phenomenal pdf published by UNICEF.

It takes just $37-dollars for UNICEF to provide a water filter, purifier, and disinfectant that can be used by an entire village.

How might your family raise money or awareness? We came across one family that has decided to turn off their house water for one week, thus saving a child's life for a year.


Anonymous said...

Toilets account for approx. 30% of water used indoors. By installing a Dual Flush toilet you can save between 40% and 70% of drinking water being flushed down the toilet, depending how old the toilet is you are going to replace.
If you are serious about saving water, want a toilet that really works and is affordable, I would highly recommend a Caroma Dual Flush toilet. Caroma toilets offer a patented dual flush technology consisting of a 0.8 Gal flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 Gal flush for solids. On an average of 5 uses a day (4 liquid/ 1 solid) a Caroma Dual Flush toilet uses an average of 0.96 gallons per flush. The new Sydney Smart uses only 1.28 and 0.8 gpf, that is an average of 0.89 gallons per flush. This is the lowest water consumption of any toilet available in the US. Caroma, an Australian company set the standard by giving the world its first successful two button dual flush system in the nineteen eighties and has since perfected the technology. Also, with a full 3.5″ trapway, these toilets virtually never clog. All of Caroma’s toilets are on the list of WaterSense labeled HET’s and also qualify for several toilet rebate programs available in the US. Please visit my blog to learn more or go to to learn where you can find Caroma toilets locally. Visit to see how we flush potatoes with 0.8 gallons of water, meant for liquids only. Best regards, Andrea Paulinelli

Anonymous said...

Lee, Great list of projects and also, a great approach to putting water consumption in context for parents and children. Thanks for highlighting our work! We look forward to following you and your group more closely via Twitter and this blog.