World Water Day 2020 – An Inflection Point and Opportunity to Acknowledge Water’s Role in Health
It was four years ago on World Water Day that we launched GlobalWaterWorks (GWW) , an organization committed to accelerating the adoption of smart water technologies. The pending threat of extreme water scarcity that we will witness in our lifetime inspired – no, commanded – that we act!
Our small team of committed individuals set out to find technologies that could be applied to this problem and then spread the word of innovative and promising solutions.
We encountered many “water heroes” – spanning the globe from the USA to Israel to India and back again. The many experts, organizations and solutions so inspired us, we established GWW Connect, a platform that showcases the work of people and companies who share an interest in applying smart and efficient technologies to address global water challenges.
WATER = HEALTH
Never did we imagine, the world would face a water, sanitation and hygiene challenge of such epic proportions as we are facing today with the COVID-19 pandemic. We salute our medical professionals who are caring for the sick, and the essential workers who are keeping the grocery shelves stocked, essential businesses operating, including our water and wastewater management systems.
Still, the Centers for Disease Control, notes on its site:
- 780 million people lack access to an improved drinking water source, and
- 2.5 billion people, nearly 35% of the planet, lacks access to a sanitation system.
Nothing is worse than feeling helpless in a crisis. And, our hope is this World Water Day may be an inflection point, where all see the value of water to our personal, national and global health, and acknowledge how each one of us can make a difference.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE in JUST 10 MINUTES
You can ease the burden on our health system and our water and wastewater operations by choosing to become a water steward.
Below are immediately actionable solutions, ranging from the practical (for every household), to down-to-earth (uh, you might even say below the earth) to atmospheric water harvesting (a “far out” idea that is not a pipe dream):
- SaveWaterSaveMoney – a simple way for consumers to identify 30+% savings on water use and adopt better strategies to manage scarce water resources. Our First Water Hero, Tim Robertson, CEO and Founder of SaveWaterSaveMoney, was motivated by a drought that led England’s water authority to incentivize utilities to engage customers to save water and save energy. Thanks to Tim, any household can start saving water today using the NRWA’s Savings Engine (for U.S. households): http://www.nrwa.org/savings-engine/. Custom versions are available for many countries and even a small business at www.savewatersavemoney.com.
- SmartCover – by preventing 99% of sewer overflows, cities can preserve public health, protect the environment and save millions. Our Second Water Hero, Greg Quist, CEO and PhD of SmartCover, was motivated to help his fellow operators navigate extreme weather events and crumbling infrastructure, which was contributing to sewage being discharged in to oceans, rivers and streams. These challenges led the California Water Board to charge $10/gallon overflow. You can also help to reduce overflows by only flushing the “3 Ps – P–, P– and Toilet Paper” and NO WIPES (“flushable” wipes are adding to sewage backups). As an informed citizen, you can influence your town, city or municipality to consider this down-to-earth solution to provide eyes on the sewer and advance notification on potential problems. Go directly to www.smartcoversystems.com or get to the bottom of things with CEO Greg Quist: http://bit.ly/TalkingSewers
- Atmospheric Water Harvesting – imagine capturing water from air, even in the desert. Our third Water Hero, Dr. Omar M. Yaghi, the James and Neeltje Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences, experienced water shortages as a child growing up in Jordan. He founded the field of reticular chemistry, providing a means to harvest water from air, even in the desert. It sounds like a far out idea but it’s not a pipe dream; it’s real. Learn about it in this article: https://www.wateronline.com/doc/water-from-air-a-pipe-dream-or-new-frontier-0001, or from the folks who are commercializing Dr. Yaghi’s invention: www.wahainc.com.
On this World Water Day 2020 we are hunkered down at home trying to “flatten the curve” of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic. This terrible event is one more reminder of how important water is to the health of our people, planet and economy. And, how important it is for local, state and federal governments to plan ahead for any crisis – including an impending water crisis in our lifetime.
We hope you will be encouraged by what you can do in just 10 minutes – online – via the above links. And, if you wish to do more, there’s a role for everyone within GlobalWaterWorks CONNECT. Dive in and join us! www.GWWConnect.com
Stay safe. 💙