Charity Tuesday: Water for People

Water for People logoThis #charitytuesday, we are calling attention to the work of Water for People, a nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative, sustainable clean water solutions in 11 different countries in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. Water for People is not just another water charity. The core value that makes this organization unique is sustainability – a drive to create solutions that last.

One of their most innovative solutions lies in a partnership with PlayPumps International and the Case Foundation. PlayPumps are small merry-go-rounds that pump water from underground into a water tank as children spin around on them. The water can then be drawn from a tap directly on the tank.

Water for People also works through local partnerships with government and private organizations, calling on communities to finance their own clean water efforts, and training them to build their own clean water and sanitation systems, so that the projects last beyond those that are normally funded by a one-time monetary grant. This is part of what makes their solutions  sustainable. What’s more, they recently launched an online platform called FLOW (Field Level Operations Watch) that uses mobile phones and GPS to monitor how well water systems in the developing world are functioning. This monitoring system ensures that broken pumps and wells in need of repair are not left untouched – once again ensuring that the projects last well beyond the first drop of clean water that’s produced.

Individuals and organizations can get involved with Water for People by spreading the word through online media, sponsoring fundraising events, shopping the online store or making a donation online.

Water and Earth Day: Is Blue the new Green?

Ever heard the phrase, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?” Well, we couldn’t think of a truly original topic to blog about this Earth Day. For the last forty years, people have talked about Earth Day and ways to preserve our planet. In the Internet age, it’s even tougher to think of something truly unique, truly mindblowing.

So rather than telling you once more to purchase a water filter to filter your tap water and a reusable water bottle to carry it with (which is astonishingly good advice), we figured we’d point you to some writers who have provided an interesting, fresh take this Earth Day.In no particular order are a few blogs that made quite an impression on us. The first, from the Huffington Post, especially had us thinking green blue.

Is Blue the new Green?

The folks over at the Huffington Post think so, and they give nine reasons — each accompanied by a breathtaking photo – that Earth day is as much about our planet’s water as it is our greenery. Gazelle Emami at the Huffington Post explains why we need to “Go Blue,” too:

“Earth is often seen as synonymous with land, but our planet is overwhelming dominated by water. Which is why this Earth Day, we’re going blue. Taking care of our oceans and other sources of water is critical to sustaining our planet, but the attention they get often doesn’t reflect that. While 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, 95 percent of the oceans have not even been explored. We’re taking a look at nine reasons why water and the life within it is vital to life on Earth, and how celebrating the earth means celebrating our most precious resource — water.”

Eco-friendly Bottled Water

Jill Fehrenbacher of Inhabit wrote about the Top Five Dumbest Greenwashed Earth Day Gimmicks. First on her list were “eco-shaped water bottles,” which the manufacturer Poland Springs touted as using 30% less plastic. Be that as it may, Fehrenbacher is quick to point out the hypocrisy involved in putting tap water into “eco-friendly” bottles.

Water for People

If you pledge to Save Your Water this Earth Day, UL Worldwide has promised to donate a dollar to Water for People, a program that helps bring clean water to some of the places on Earth that need it most.

Blue Link Bonanza

Oceana, the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, published an Earth Day Blue Link Bonanza. The link bonanza included several links to celebrate Earth Day through water, including links to senators and suggestions to tell them to stop ocean acidification and offshore drilling.