Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obtaining fresh water a challenge in a lot of the world

Photograph originally uploaded by bdinphoenix
In the U.S., we often take clean water for granted. Turn on the tap and - ta-da! - drinkable H2O. But across huge swaths of the planet, it's not that simple.

According to the United Nations, 2.6 billion people - that's 41% of the global population - lack access to clean water.

That's why the U.N. has set aside March 22 as World Water Day, which calls on governments and individuals to recognize how crucial water is to our health, economy, and environment.

While the numbers can be staggering - 6,000 children die each day from diseases that could have been prevented by having access to clean water and sanitation - the solutions are surprisingly simple.

A mere one-dollar investment in providing access to clean water will return seven dollars in economic productivity, because people don't get sick, don't miss work and school, and live longer.

This past Sunday marked the first day of the Tap Project, a weeklong fundraiser initiated by UNICEF to offer clean and accessible drinking water to children all over the world. More than 100 restaurants in the Washington area are asking customers to donate $1—or as much as they’d like to give—to drink tap water, normally free of charge.

You can also support The Tap project

The project was launched last year in New York City. At more than 300 restaurants, the city raised $100,000 and provided 4 million children with clean water. This year, UNICEF expanded the idea to include 13 cities around the country. More than 100 restaurants are participating in the Washington area through March 22nd.

On March 22, you can participate in live or virtual water marches sponsored by Starbucks. In Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Las Vegas, and other cities, people will walk miles to draw attention to water issues. These marches are inspired by the 3-6-mile journey women and children in many countries make every day just to get water.

Article by DeHoll on

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