Getting Pumped for World Water Day

I realize only now the punny nature of that title…sorry.

In any case, I just discovered that this coming Thursday, March 22, is World Water Day, with the theme “Coping With Water Scarcity.” In light of this news, I’ve come up with a list of ways to celebrate:

1) Drink tap water – it’s not as scary as it sounds. Why? Bottled water is no safer than tap water, and some of the biggest bottled beverage companies (including Nestle, Coke, and Pepsi) are pumping aquifers dry in places where people are poor and water is scarce.

Visit The Water Project to learn more about water scarcity and take the No Bottled Water Challenge.

2) If you’re in DC, visit the screening of the Long Walk at Union Station (a 7.5 hour documentary tracking one woman’s daily 7.5 hour commute to bring water home to her family – starts 8am March 22 in the main hall). If you’re not in DC, check this list of other World Water Day events.

Also, the DC Environmental Film Festival includes a number of films about water, including on March 21 “Dead in the Water,” and on March 22 “The Journey of the Blob” and “Come On Rain!”

3) Limit your own water consumption: Take a bucket shower, take a shorter shower, and/or shower every other day instead of every day (if your body will let you – for those of us who tend toward dry skin, it’s actually healthier too). Also, among the obvious & oft-ignored techniques: try not to leave the water running while you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, or even between washing dishes.

Flush less (remember “If it’s yellow let it mellow…”?). Also, even if your toilet is not a low-flush toilet, reducing the amount of water used per flush is as simple as putting a plastic milk jug filled with water (or other weight) in your toilet tank.

Feeling especially water-conscious? Consider rain barrels, grey-water systems, and/or composting toilets (my personal fav).

4) Limit water pollution by producing less household waste (hint: reduce, reuse, recycle), less water waste (see above), and not using pesticides or fertilizers. Consider rain gardens.

5) Find out how to cope if a natural disaster leaves you without safe drinking water by watching the Open Water Project‘s five-minute informative and visually entertaining video.

6) Learn about some of the existing efforts to respond to the water crisis by playing these games from WaterAid America. Or try solving the Mystery of the Missing Water.

7) As with any other campaign, or any other day for that matter: Share the love. Spread the word. Consider posting information on your office’s water cooler or by the kitchen sink. Offer a friend or co-worker a glass of tap water.

Post your own suggestions in a comment here.

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