Water Matters

The latest on our work and those supporting it

Time to Celebrate?

Today, the World Health Organization and Unicef Joint Monitoring Program released a report that the world has met the drinking water target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

There’s no question that the latest report from the folks tracking progress of this MDG contains a lot of good news.  Millions of people throughout the world have received “improved” (not necessarily clean or safe) access to water over the last decade.

Many good people have been working hard during that time to focus the world’s attention on what we know to be a foundational building block in improving people’s lives – access to clean, safe water.  We’re keenly aware that without goals like these and the attention they generate, the progress we see today would likely have been far less.

So, first let’s celebrate that.  A rising tide indeed floats a lot of boats.

At the same time though, let’s not get carried away in claiming “success” in meeting any goal just yet. There is far too much work left to do.

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Boy, Do We Have a Great Date for You!

Been thinking about doing something for the first time, or even a second or third time, to help bring clean water to those in need?  Boy, do we have a great date for you!  Grab a pen, your iPhone, your family calendar, or your church bulletin; and mark down Thursday, March 22nd.  This day is set aside each year as World Water Day (WWD), where people all over the world talk about water, and its vital importance.

WWD is no small thing!  The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.  Each year since 1993 people have been getting out there and making a splash in their world for clean water.

This year’s focus is Water and Food Security.  Did you know that 70% of the water used in the world is used for agriculture?  Growing food takes tons of water, literally!  In fact, it takes about 3963 gallons of water to produce just 2 pounds of beef!  So without adequate water, people can’t grow adequate food.  Having access to clean, reliable water sources is important not just for drinking, bathing, and other hygiene practices, but for growing food.

Join us this year, and do something to commemorate WWD this March 22nd.  Host a fundraising event like a walk for water, take the Water Challenge, run in a road-race and get sponsors, and give the gift of clean water to those who do not have it.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and re-post the news and project updates we post.  Check out our Get Involved page for more ideas about how you can make this year’s World Water day a wave of success!

And invite a friend!  May as well ‘make it a date’!



Chats with Jack – Monthly Calls with Colleges and Universities

Tess with children in Rwanda; see the woman carrying water in the background?

In the late autumn of 2011 we started meeting via Webex each month with students from colleges and universities all over the country.  Our goal?  To connect them to other like-minded peers and leaders who are interested in being a part of the solution to the economic water crisis that keeps millions without access to clean, reliable water sources.

In December we began recording the calls; I tell you, this is so fun!   So why bother doing the recording?  So we can share news from the field, and begin to catalog conversations that others (like you) can listen to and learn from, at your leisure!

Jack, the voice from the field

For our December call we had an interview with Jack Owen, our Program Manager, where we heard about a pilot project we are beginning in Kenya with a Field Partner, Pamoja Trust.   Working in informal urban settlements around Mombasa, the pilot project will establish two water kiosks, provide hygiene and sanitation training, and is expected to serve between 2500-3000 people.  Listen to our chat with Jack by clicking this link, and hear more details about this project, and stories of changed lives.

What’s next in our line up of recorded topics?  Keep your eyes open for topics such as ‘Time is Money Water!’ (to be recorded during our Jan. 25th call),  ‘Technology Spotlight’, and others.  Have ideas for discussion topics?  Write to us!  We’d like to hear from you.

“Catch you on the radio”, as they say!



The Ripple Effect Celebrity Benefit

Kat Graham and Peter Chasse attend "The Ripple Effect" in Los Angeles.

Kat Graham and Peter Chasse at "The Ripple Effect" in Los Angeles.

This past Saturday, December 10th, Kat Graham and Ian Somerhalder hosted “The Ripple Effect” in Los Angeles to benefit The Water Project. It was a beautiful evening, complete with a red carpet welcome, live and silent auctions, and presentations by the hosts and our founder, Peter Chasse.

Over 200 people turned out to show their support, including a number of Kat and Ian’s friends from the CW Network. Ms. Graham, who previously sponsored a water well through donations to her fundraising page on myWaterProject, worked with Jane Owen PR to organize every detail of the evening. She arranged sponsors, solicited gifts for the auction, and made sure everyone had an amazing time.

According to GiveBackHollywood.com, “Celebrities that attended to support the cause include Emmy Rossum, Nina Dobrev, Michael Trevino, Jenna Ushkowitz, Arielle Kebbel, Krysten Ritter, Camille Winbush, Christa B. Allen, Deborah S. Craig, Matt Lanter, Tiffany Hines, Judi Shekoni, Perez Hilton, Tamra Barney, Eddie Judge, Bianca Lawson, James Kyson Lee, and Marisa Quinn. Matthew Koma, best known for his hit “Novocaine Lips” on the Abduction soundtrack, entertained the celebrity audience.”

Throughout the evening, guests tweeted support of The Water Project and helped introduce our work to thousands of new people. We’re still tallying all the donations that have been made as a result, but we can say that many new wells and water projects will be built in 2012 thanks to Kat Graham’s Ripple Effect event. We couldn’t be more thankful!

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