Goal For The Green

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Support World Water Day!

Mar-17-2012 By Barbara Zak
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World Water Day is March 22

Water is our most valuable and precious resource, and yet it is often the least  talked about.  That is why ONE DROP, is making every effort to significantly mark World Water Day (WWD) on March 22.  Their mission is to make safe water accessible for all a reality, today and tomorrow. ” We must find global solutions, while taking concrete action where there are needs. That is why we’re striving to implement innovative and creative projects that produce lasting results throughout the world,” states Lili-Anna Pereša, Executive Director of ONE DROP.

Below, is a press release about activities that you can participate in to support World Water Day 2012.

ONE DROP Commemorates World Water Day

MONTREAL, QUEBEC–(Marketwire – March 15, 2012) - Whether by raising public awareness, field work, or active involvement in discussions regarding important water-related issues, ONE DROP will deploy a multitude of diverse initiatives throughout the world, for this World Water Day 2012.

Since 1992, the United Nations has encouraged people to celebrate water on March 22, of every year. Since its very beginning, ONE DROP—an initiative of Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil®—has commemorated this special and important day by a plethora of activities at various levels and across different territories, around the world.

Cirque du Soleil

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“There’s water on our plates!”

The initiative “There’s water on our plates!” falls under the theme of the WWD 2012: Water and Food Safety. This awareness campaign consists of a series of tools, primarily geared toward social media, in order to make people aware of the consequences of their food choices on water resources and to encourage them to adopt eco-friendly food behavi0rs.

World Water Day and the World Water Forum

ONE DROP will participate in the discussions and reflections of the World Water Forum taking place between March 12 and 17 in Marseille, France. It will be presenting the conference “Social art – A complement to water-access projects.” One of the projects proposed by ONE DROP this year, was selected from over 1,000 projects, and will be presented at the Solutions Forum, which aims to promote particularly beneficial initiatives. The World Water Forum is a platform for exchanges and partnerships, between all the water organizations in the world. Today, The World Water Forum, includes over 400 organizations from more than one hundred countries around the world.

Participation in the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)

This year, ONE DROP will collaborate with CIBL and the Maison Mondiale de la radio communautaire, to organize an international awareness-raising and mobilization operation, regarding water. More than 20 stations of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, throughout the world will produce vignettes, reports and shows aimed at creating interest concerning water issues.  On March 22, a special show will be co-produced with CIBL101.5, and aired globally afterwards.


World Water Day and7 DAYS FOR A BETTER WORLD

From March 19 to 25, 2012, Cirque du Soleil will hold the 7 DAYS FOR A BETTER WORLD campaign, which will present the various Cirque du Soleil, initiatives aimed at supporting social actions, at the heart of which is ONE DROP. Over the course of this week, $5 will be donated to ONE DROP for each Cirque du Soleil touring show ticket sold. Moreover, MGM Resorts International, Treasure Island and Cirque du Soleil, have joined forces to support ONE DROP. The revenues from the various Cirque du Soleil shows performed in Las Vegas,  between March 20 and 24, will be donated to ONE DROP.

The Run Away With Cirque du Soleil at the Springs Preserve will be held on Saturday, March 24. This will be the 11th edition of the event, which includes a five-km run and a one-km walk in collaboration with ONE DROP.

Special activity in India

The stakeholders of ONE DROP’s Project India, will launch “Visions for Water,” the first water focused film festival to take place in the region of Orissa in India. Eleven documentary screenings about water will be presented, followed by a discussion panel to debate the question: How can the arts be agents of change in water management behaviors?

Special activity in Haiti

The agents of ONE DROP’s Project Haiti, will inaugurate two new communal water centers in Mariani and Beloc, and will perform the multidisciplinary show “Ayïti Pawol Lapli ak Lakansyèl,” based on the water issues in Beloc.

La Soirée ONE DROP in Quebec City

There will also be a benefit evening on March 24, in Quebec City, in partnership with Cirque du Soleil, with the proceeds going to ONE DROP.

The complete programing is available at http://www.onedrop.org/en/projects/projects-overview/WorldWaterDay/wwdactivities.aspx.

About ONE DROP

ONE DROP— an initiative of Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil®—is a non-governmental organization founded in 2007. ONE DROP contributes to the fight against poverty, by supporting access to water and raising individual and community awareness of the need to mobilize so that safe water is accessible to all, in sufficient quantity, today and tomorrow. With its unique arts-based approach, ONE DROP helps ensure sustainable development for communities by implementing educational projects, providing adapted solutions for access to safe water and by granting micro -finance loans. ONE DROP leads creative projects worldwide, that seek to raise the population’s awareness of water-related issues and encourage the adoption of responsible water management practices.  World Water Day, is just another way we are working toward a better tomorrow!

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Focusing On Clean Water

Oct-2-2009 By Barbara Zak
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Environmental Protection Agency logo
Image via Wikipedia

Water is our most precious resource, and perhaps the most taken for granted.   Here in America, our number one environmental concern is the pollution of drinking water.  It is the essential ingredient to sustaining life.  For this reason, it is a prime concern to most Americans, that our drinking water is clean and safe.

The worries are justified and many, from potential contaminants and disturbances in the water systems, to untested well water, to less stringent requirements for bottled water vs. tap water, and the list goes on.

Here in the United States, we are fortunate to have one of the safest water supplies in the world.  However, the quality and safety of water varies from place to place, depending on the condition of the source water and the treatment it receives.  Our nation’s public drinking water supply is regulated under The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), originally passed by Congress in 1974.  The SDWA,  and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set our standards for drinking water quality.  They also oversee the governments and suppliers who implement the standards.  The EPA’s primary standards are legally enforceable, and limit the level of contaminants in drinking water,  in order to protect public health.

The EPA mandates that all public water suppliers must provide an annual report, sometimes called a Consumer Confidence Report, to its customers.  This report, provides information on local drinking water quality, the source of the water, contaminants found in the water, and how we, the customers, can get involved in protecting our drinking water.

The EPA also protects the nation’s drinking water by safeguarding watersheds, and regulating the release of pollutants into the environment. In partnership with local authorities and community groups, the EPA encourages water conservation and works to develop contingency plans for source contamination and other water emergencies.  In cases where drinking water poses a risk to health, the EPA requires local water suppliers to provide notice to their customers.  This may be  in the form of a “boil water order.”  This is to remove contaminants, before drinking the water.

The EPA encourages households with private drinking water supplies, to have their water tested annually for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels.    Approximately 15 percent of Americans have private wells.   However, studies have found that many private wells are not tested regularly, and could be subject to dangerous contamination.

Our nation’s aging water infrastructure, is a major concern in regards to safe drinking water. The American Water Works Association (AWWA), North America’s largest association of water works professions, has called the next few decades the “Dawn of the Replacement Era” because a significant amount of the nation’s buried water infrastructure, needs to be replaced before it deteriorates and poses a serious threat to both public health and safety.

You may have heard on the news before, that this will require a major investment.   AWWA estimates that $250 billion over the next 30 years, may be required to replace worn-out drinking water pipes and associated structures, including reservoirs and the repairing of dams, nationwide.

Such concerns over safe drinking water, may lead consumers to explore their options when it comes to safe drinking water. Filtration pitchers, such as Brita and PUR, are one affordable option. These pitchers use a single step process to filter water, but do not include a purification system to remove bacteria and viruses.   Home systems may provide both filtration and purification (which varies by system); however, they require installation time, and often are quite expensive.

Then there is bottled water, which to me is not an option.   Yet, it has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, more than doubling in consumption between 1997 and 2005. While it is convenient, there are a number of drawbacks. The cost of bottled water is ridiculous.  Bottled water costs between 1,000 and 4,000 times more than tap water, which costs about $0.00002 per ounce.  While bottled water has been perceived as more pure than tap water, we know this is not necessarily the case.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), regards bottled water as a packaged food product.   So, while it is not necessarily purer than tap water, bottled water is also not subject to some of the more stringent requirements that apply to tap water.  For example,  did you know that bottled water providers are not required to notify their customers of the source, or of the occurrence of contaminants in the water, if it is purified, and even, if it is simply just bottled tap water?  Why not just have a thermos, and bring your own tap water, than to pay for what you don’t know the source of that bottled water is?  Plus, let’s keep those plastic bottles out of the landfills.

In 2007, 8.8 billion gallons of bottled water were sold worldwide. Of those
bottles consumed in the United States, nearly 77 % ended up in landfills.
According to USA Today, “Plastic water bottles produced for U.S. consumption take 1.5 million barrels of oil per year… That much energy could power 250,000 homes or fuel 100,000 cars for a year.”   This number does not take into account transportation costs and associated environmental effects, as more than 5 trillion gallons of bottled water is shipped internationally each year.

So, what do we do, if we are interested in preserving the environment, yet want to ensure that the water we are drinking is as pure as possible?  Today, 61 percent of Americans look for health information online.  Many are researching their choices for safer drinking water.

One option worth exploring is the use of ultraviolet (UV) light for water purification. The light spectrum is made up of energy in varying wavelengths. A wavelength is the distance between the crest of two waves and is measured in units called nanometers (nm), one billionth of a meter. UV light is broken up into three bands called UVA, UVB and UVC.   On the spectrum, UVC light, with wavelengths between 100 and 280 nm, is commonly referred to as “germicidal light” due to its effectiveness in destroying microorganisms.  UVC light, acts as a natural outdoor air purification system by deactivating the DNA of microorganisms and destroying their ability to multiply.

This type of light has been used to effectively disinfect and sanitize in water treatment plants, hospitals and laboratories, and food and drug facilities for years.  This type of technology, has been used in a number of consumer products as well.

HoMedics, the leader in health and wellness products, developed Restore®, a complete water purification system in an easy to use pitcher.  Utilizing the germ-killing benefits of UVC light, Restore combines UV Clean technology to remove bacteria, viruses and microbial cysts with a filtration system to reduce heavy metals, chlorine (taste and odor), and some industrial and agricultural pollutants.

HoMedics, also worked with the State of California to create a new protocol to test Restore, which enabled a water purifier class for household products that previously only applied to installed systems and large systems for water treatment plants. California’s water is regulated by the California Department of Public Health along with the EPA, and has some of the strictest standards in the nation.

Restore includes an internal filtration system with an activated carbon and ion exchange resin. Once water has passed through the filter, the water is purified by the built-in UV lamp by activating a 60-second germ-killing cycle. Tests were conducted on chlorine (taste and odor), zinc, benzene,cadmium, copper, lindane, mercury, tetrachloroethylene, toluene and lead according to NSF/ANSI Standard 42/53.  All  tests showed more than a 90 percent reduction. Restore also underwent stringent testing procedures to demonstrate the bacterial efficacy against E.coli.  All testing was conducted to the most current NSF/ANSI 53 standards, except lead, which was tested in accordance with NSF/ANSI 53 (1988), the standard currently adopted by the state of California.

Restore, is California certified for microbiological water purification, a first for a water pitcher utilizing UV technology. Additionally, Restore is Gold Seal Certified (see video at site) to National Sanitation Foundation standards by the Water Quality Association. Restore is also BPA-free, a common agent used to make plastics, and suspected of causing negative health effects.

Today the nation’s water infrastructure is showing signs of age and need for repair. Harmful contaminants, including dangerous bacteria like E. coli, continue to be a recurring challenge in water systems and cause for concern.

These concerns are compounded by other health threats in the media, such as the H1N1 virus, posing even greater unknown health and safety risks and concerns to consumers. While municipal water systems are doing an excellent job, we the consumers seek that extra layer of protection.

With the help of proven technology, such as UV, we  are able to have clean water, which can help ease consumer concerns.  We can start feeling in control of the issue, and know that we are taking steps to ensure cleaner, and safer drinking water for ourselves and or families.   Restore meets their customers needs , by delivering an easy cost-effective solution, that provides great tasting water.  They are indeed working toward a better tomorrow for all of us!

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