|Knowledge to Action|
This section brings the information from this edition of the Monitor full circle and seeks to inspire further thinking about how individuals can make a difference with what often seem like complex and insurmountable issues. The global water crisis is a complex problem, but there are many things you can do to start making an impact now.
Let your voice be heard:
Calculate your own water use and test your knowledge:
Make a personal commitment:
Bring clean water to schools around the world:
Examples of citizen involvement:
Students to Develop Solutions to Global Water Crisis in First Annual "Aspen Design Challenge"
At the March 2003 World Water Forum citizens convinced delegates that corporate control of water resources would be a threat to the human right to water, despite the overwhelming presence of corporate interests at the forum. In 2004, Uruguay adopted into its constitution a provision that makes it illegal to privatize water in the country. At the March 2006 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City, the UN pronounced the water privatization a failure and called for governments to reengage in water services.
Maude Barlow is the founder of the Blue Planet Project, which works to maintain water as a public entity and right around the world. She was recently appointed Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. She authored Blue Covenant: Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water and supports the movement for a UN Covenant on the human right of water.
PlayPumps International (PPI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has found a unique and affordable way to provide clean drinking water to rural communities in Africa. The organization employs a simple play wheel structure that doubles as a pump that extracts water from underground sources (see pump diagram here). Clean water access in communities means that residents and school children do not have to spend their days carrying water from far sources for everyday needs such as cooking. The organization’s mission is to enhance public health and offer play equipment to millions across Africa.
In January 2008, NBC Nightly News and MSNBC featured PlayPumps International in their “Making a Difference” segment.
PlayPumps International has also launched an initiative called Know H20, an interactive resource website for students and educators to learn more about the global water crisis and their opportunity to create positive change.
You can donate to the “Keep it Flowing” initiative to help PlayPumps International continue their work. You can also become a fan of PPI or join the cause on Facebook, put a banner on your website or social network page, and download an action kit filled with ideas about how your school, club, and/or faith-based group can help support PPI.