Top Ten Ways to Celebrate National Drinking Water Week

For more than 30 years, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) has celebrated National Drinking Water Week, recognizing the crucial role that a safe, reliable water supply plays in our everyday lives.  This year, National Drinking Water Week will be held May 2-8, and will provide an opportunity for both water professionals and community citizens to promote awareness.  The AWWA has suggested some general celebration ideas.  To jumpstart the effort, we have also compiled a list of some of our favorite ways to celebrate.

#10 – Update your Facebook Status

Nowadays, social media is one of the most used ways to promote awareness surrounding any cause.  You’d be surprised at how far a simple Facebook status update can go, especially if enough people participate.  Alert your friends, create groups, and use this platform to organize events related to water awareness.

#9 – Watch a Movie

Not just any movie.  Last week, we compiled a list of five must-watch water movies, all of which take an in-depth look at water issues that plague many people around the world.  Invite some friends over and pop some popcorn.  And instead of soda, drink water.

#8 – Go Camping

Celebrate alone or with friends in the wilderness.  A closer look at nature will remind us of how crucial water is to our world – to the survival of plants and animals, and to the sustenance of our beautiful environment.  Make sure you have access to clean drinking water while you’re in the woods.  This Katadyn MyBottle Personal Water Purifier will keep you hydrated on those long hiking trails.

#7 – Plant a Tree

After your camping trip, why not bring some of that nature home with you by planting a tree in honor of National Drinking Water Week.  According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, trees are natural filters that play a key role in purifying our water supplies.  Your tree will serve as a reminder of the necessity of clean water to environmental sustenance.

#6 – Set up a Mall Kiosk

Call your local shopping mall and get permission to set up a mall kiosk for the entire week.  Use it as an opportunity to promote awareness by handing out pamphlets and other promotional materials.  You could also sell reusable water bottles and donate the proceeds to organizations that fund the creation of clean water supplies around the world.

#5 – Have a water gift exchange

Don’t wait until Christmas to have your next employee party.  Have one during National Drinking Water Week and include a gift exchange with “water” as the theme, where each person brings a “water-related” gift.

#4 – Host a water tasting

Instead of a wine tasting, why not do a water tasting using water from different sources – pitcher-filtered water, faucet-filtered water, tap water and even different bottled water brands.  See if you can taste any differences.

#3 – Contests

AWWA suggests a variety of contests for kids, including book cover art, poster, essay, and coloring contests.  Each of these can serve as educational tools, and prizes will motivate more kids to compete.

#2 – Host a Water Walk in Your Community

There are many annual walking events that promote awareness and raise money to find cures for diseases.  Why not host a water walk to promote awareness about water, and raise money to fund the building of clean water supplies around the world?

#1 – Boycott the bottle

You may think we’re biased, but this is our personal favorite way to celebrate.  Maybe you don’t have time to do any of the other things that we mentioned.  That’s okay.  You can do your part by simply drinking filtered water for the entire week.  Once you see how much money you save by not buying bottled water, you’ll never go back.

Any other ideas? We’d love to hear them.  Feel free to post them as comments below, and don’t forget to take our latest poll: “How will you celebrate National Drinking Water Week?”

Prahlad Jani – the Human Filter

Prahlad Jani brings a whole new meaning to the phrase, “reduce, reuse, recycle.” This 83-year-old holy man’s body is his recycling bin, according to a recent news article. Claiming to have lived the past seven decades without food or water, Jani was taken in for observation by Indian doctors on April 22, and since then has had no food or water and has not passed urine or stool.  His body has remained in perfect health since then, showing no signs of dehydration, hunger or fatigue.  He is still active enough to climb stairs and several tests on his brain reveal that it resembles that of a 25-year-old.

Jani claims to be a “breatharian,” a person who can live on “spiritual life force,” since receiving a blessing from a goddess at the age of eight.  He says that drops of water, or for him, drops of a magic elixir from the goddess, filter through a hole in his palate, sustaining him.  In addition, he is able to produce urine in his bladder as well as reabsorb it back into his body, at will.  Ordinarily, a person cannot survive without urinating, but it appears that Jani is able to filter and re-circulate the water that makes up 90 percent of his body at any time.

Here we have waste reduction and recycling in its simplest form.  Or maybe it isn’t so simple.  Scientists, of course, are baffled by this mystery, and as of yet, have no scientific explanation for it.  The “spiritual life force” that sustains him didn’t stop at the blessing of the goddess.  At age 83, Jani continues to receive energy through spiritual meditation, adding a fourth “r” – “rethink” – to the famous phrase, “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

Jani is undergoing a series of medical tests over a period of fifteen days as scientists are hoping to find solutions for people in emergency situations who must go without food or water for long periods.  Last week we gave suggestions for how to survive the apocalypse with six of our best emergency filters.  Can we add Jani, the human filter, to our list?  Only time will tell, so stay tuned for an update.  In the meantime, while you wait for a miracle blessing from a goddess, those six filters still come highly recommended.  For Jani and his fellow “breatharians,” we recommend the 3M N95 Respirator Mask in case of emergencies; since meditation involves breathing, they’ll want to make sure they aren’t inhaling air pollutants.

Will Raising the Cost of Water Reduce Wasteful Habits?

The Sydney Morning Herald online recently published an article discussing the push to substantially raise the price of water among major economies worldwide, as this natural resource becomes more and more scarce.  Experts claim that in order to change the wasteful habits of most consumers, countries need to boost the price of water, thereby making it more valuable and raising awareness so that we will take better care of our supplies.  According to the article, it will also help to raise the money needed to repair old systems and build new ones so that more people have access to clean drinking water around the globe.

What stuck out to me about this was the idea that raising the cost of water will make people less wasteful, as it will make water that much more valuable.  The bottled water industry has already capitalized on this notion, and it appears to have had the opposite effect.  If we consider that most bottled water is actually tap water, and the price of bottled water is a thousand times more than the cost of tap water, then bottled water manufacturers have managed to make millions of dollars off of something that environmental leaders say is becoming a scarce commodity.  And if even half of those millions were used to invest in new water supply systems, more people would have access to clean water, worldwide.

As we can see, bottled water companies have managed to place a higher value on water, but this has resulted in an increase in wastefulness, rather than a decrease.  Only a small percentage of plastic bottles are actually recycled, while the rest continue to pile up in our landfills, ruining our environment, and causing more harm to existing safe water supplies.

People in third world countries continue to go without safe water.

Wasteful consumers continue to fill the pockets of bottled water manufacturers.

And the cycle goes on…

Now, you might say that bottled water has helped many people in third world countries overcome the aftermath of natural disasters.  And it has.  But so have water filters as this story about a twelve-year-old boy working to provide safe water for victims in Haiti illustrates.  My argument, here, is that putting a higher value on water (as bottled water companies have done) will not necessarily change the habits of wasteful consumers.  And even if it did – there’s no proof that the money raised would actually go toward building safe water supply systems.  Maybe I’m missing something.  Or maybe I’m just being a bit pessimistic…

Anyone care to disagree?