This Thursday (March 22) marks the 20th anniversary of World Water Day. Created by the United Nations in 1992, the purpose of World Water Day is to heighten public awareness of water scarcity and quality issues. This year the theme of World Water Day is Water and Food Safety, and the campaign will focus primarily on tools and methods that help make the average citizen become more aware of the consequences of their food choices, and encourage more eco-friendly behaviors. The official brochure and poster are available here.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations will be hosting the official UN-Water World Water Day 2012—taking place in Rome, Italy—and a variety of speakers are scheduled to make special appearances. There will also be a session focusing the United Nations World Development Report, “Managing Water Under Uncertainty and Risk” by the World Water Assessment Program, and a follow up to the 6th World Water Forum session, “From field to fork—reduce food waste and change sustainable diets to reduce your water footprints.” More information on the program can be found here.
Here at Water Efficiency, we’ve always been committed to highlighting the connection between individual behavior and large-scale water resource management. Our iPhone app, Waterprint, includes the water footprints of over 100 items, including many food and beverage items. The app also includes a water footprint calculator so that you can add up the drops (and gallons) that went in to making that lunchtime sandwich or happy hour cocktail. The app is free and available for the iPhone and iPad. A Web browser version of the app is also available for Blackberry and Android users.
In that same spirit of playful—but informative—interaction, World Water Day has teamed up with One Drop to create the Blue Lunchbox Challenge. Just drag and drop food items onto the plate, and the water footprint of your meal will be automatically calculated. The goal of the game is to encourage consumers to replace high footprint foods with their low footprint replacements, along with highlighting the need to reduce wasteful food habits.
One Drop offers some other tips for lowering your water footprint:
* Follow a healthier, sustainable diet.
Consume less water-intensive products.
Reduce the scandalous food wastage: 30% of the food produced worldwide is never eaten, and the water used to produce it is definitively lost!
Produce more food, of better quality, with less water.
“World Water Day is a moment for all of us in the water and sanitation sector to join forces and highlight the progress being made, as well as reaffirm our commitment to the work that remains to be done,” says Richard Greenly, co-founder of the Oklahoma-based Water4 Foundation. “By bringing innovative techniques and a business-based approach to our projects and partners in places like Togo, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Haiti, we’ve made significant strides toward helping to address the world's water crisis.”
World Water Day is being promoted by a myriad of nonprofit agencies, regional water purveyors, international organizations, and commercial entities. Fiji, along with five other Pacific Island nations—Nauru, Niue, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and Tongg—is participating in the launch of the Pacific Blue Water Ribbon, designed to “raise awareness of water and sanitation issues facing Pacific Island Countries” (http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=196430). Teva, the maker of shoes and other athletic apparel, is pushing individuals to give up water in one area of their life for one day (http://blog.teva.com/category/causes/). Even Hollywood is getting in on the act. Matt Damon, actor and co-founder of Water.org, has released a video in support of the cause.
For more on World Water Day in the news, check out World Water Day at daylife.
I invite you to join Water Efficiency in celebrating World Water Day. Our editors, writers, and production staff will be working hard to reduce our water usage, and we encourage you to do the same: turn off that faucet, trade in that steak for a salad, and help us highlight the connection between action and consequence.
Upcoming Forester University Webinars
March 22nd, 2012
5 Proven Social Media Tactics to Engage Your Audience
Extend your outreach and campaign effectiveness with social media. Join Erica Hooper, Strategic Director at S. Groner Associates, to explore social media's (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) opportunities, myths, and real-world tested and proven social media tactics designed to engage your audience. Read more…
April 5th, 2012
for Surface Water Quality (new date added)
Constantly influenced by natural eutrophication, direct human impact, and a changing climate, surface water is a scarce natural resource needing effective protection. Join Shahram (Shane) Missaghi to explore the function and benefits of BMPs in protecting surface water, and examine three key criteria to insure their successful implementation: water, soil, and climate Read more...
April 12th, 2012
Water Auditing 101
Reduce your water waste and cost! Join Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC to explore the key attributes, uses, and efficiency/cost opportunities of water audits. Aichele will lead a discussion of what a water audit includes, who performs the audit, where and when they should and can be performed, and the opportunities that exist in performing a water audit. Join us and gain an understanding of the potential savings possible, rebates available, and how quickly this unobtrusive work can be implemented from audit to installation to optimize your water use and minimize your cost. Read more...
April 18th, - May 25th, 2012
Sediment and Erosion Control
Master Class Series
Join industry expert and bestselling author Jerald S. Fifield, Ph.D., CISEC, CPESC and Tina R. Evans, PE, CISEC for a comprehensive 6-part online master class and workshop series (0.9 CEUs / 9 PDHs) exploring the ins and outs of effective sediment and erosion control plan design and review based on Fifield’s recently released 3rd edition of the bestselling manual Designing and Reviewing Effective Sediment and Erosion Control Plans (included in your Master Class Series package).