Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Portland's Fluoride Debate: What Do You Think?

Here in Portland, Oregon, we are about to vote on a critical topic that affects our drinking water. 

Last year, the city council passed a bill to begin fluoridating our city's water. Many residents halted the process and the city council agreed to give our residents the right to vote on the topic.

Measure 26-151 was born and what has ensued, has been a hot debate. 

Fortunately, we live in a democratic society. When we vote on such topics we need to consider how this will affect the majority of our citizens, including our pets.

There are two very passionate sides to the issue:

What do you think? Will you be voting in May?

Feel free to comment below. Please, use respectful dialogue, all perspectives are welcome.

Monday, April 29, 2013

US Drinking Water Systems get a D+ in Quality

The American Society of Civil Engineers have given American water supply systems a D+ grade. The main gripe the group has is with water mains that are over 100 years old, outliving their useful life, but still in use delivering water to people around the country. While American water systems suffer an estimated 240,000 breaks per year, the group is quick to point out that quality of water is universally high, and outbreaks of disease are rare. The American Water Works Association estimates that a full update of America's water systems would cost $2.1 trillion dollars.

For more information, click here.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Reusable Water Bottles

Whenever I arrive at work, the first thing I do is re-fill my water bottle. Using a re-usable water bottle is an easy way to safe money and lessen our waste contribution. 
Choosing a re-usable water bottle that is the "right fit" for you may sound like an easy task, but becomes a research project when you start considering all of the options.
Here's a list of re-usable water bottle reviews:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Household Cleaning Products That Keep Our Water Supply Clean

Many of our household cleaning products are dirtying up our water supply. There are several eco-friendly items already in your home that can be used as effective cleaners.
Try one of these cost effective/readily available products.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Giving is a Fun Way to Celebrate Your Birthday!

Just ask this 6 year old, Lory, he raised over $2000 by asking his friends and family to support charity:water in lieu of receiving gifts. Not only does 100% of the profits go straight to the cause but you receive updates on how your gift is used!

This is truly a gift that keeps on giving!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Conserve water on Earth Day 2013!

For Earth Day, April 22, 2013, the U.S. Air Force has announced water resource management and conservation as their main focus. Unfortunately, water projects like this are not seen as headline news even though everyone, including the animal and plant kingdom needs water to survive and fresh water resources are being depleted. Droughts affect many areas in the United States and all over the world. One way to protect our resources is to conserve what we already have.  Currently, the Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico has 23 projects under construction, which all require water. Instead of using potable water from fire hydrants, they will use treated wastewater, also known as effluent, in order to conserve fresh potable water. We all can pitch in and join the U.S. Air Force by saving water indoors and outdoors.
What are others doing to conserve water and celebrate Earth Day? One organization, Save Our Water, has invited Californians to taking extra steps to save water outdoors. Because of an unusually dry winter, California has to cut back on their water usage. Save Our Water is encouraging Californians to making steps to conserve water such as “picking California-friendly plants, converting to water-efficient irrigation systems and/or investing in a "smart" controller for their sprinklers." See what more you can do at http://www.saveourh2o.org.

And for more information about what the Air Force is doing to conserve water, please visit the following website: http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123343618

Happy Earth Day!

Water-Producing Billboard Combines Necessities, Commerce

The University of Engineering and Technology in Peru and the Peruvian ad agency DraftFCBand have come together to create the world's first water-producing billboard. The billboard takes humidity out of the air, of which Peru's climate contains 98%, and purifies it. This creates potable water for desert communities that can get as little as 0.5" of rain annually.
By reducing the dependence on dirty wells and introducing a replenishing water source, the Potable Water Generator is improving the lives of those in the third world, who need this type of access the most.

(Source: Huffington Post)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Life Sack

People living in developing countries are often without clean water. The process of purifying large amounts of water is something they don't have available to them. There are some small-scale water purifying devices that have been invented, and are helping to prevent individuals living in developing countries from many of the illnesses drinking unclean water lead to.
One of these devices is the Life Sac. This bag uses UVA radiation, in addition to it's filtration device, to purify waters. Often, these sacs will be donated filled with food. When the food has been used, the bag is then used as a water purifier.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Less Use = Cleaner Water

Water conservation isn't a practice that should only be implemented in times of shortage, such as a drought. Conserving water is another way to prevent pollution. The more water we use, the more chemicals needed to clean our water supply.
During warmer months, many of us use more water. We are gardening, and some of us have pools and other activities that use water. It is still possible to enjoy our fun water activities and still limit our water use.
Here are 100 tips on conserving water


Friday, April 19, 2013

Easy Practices For Cleaner Water


 When taking an evening walk with my son, we stood on a bridge that covers a stream-like body of water, and stared down at it for awhile. We were watching the ducks diving around in the water, the nutria that was scurrying along the bank, and the crane that was perched on a small island patch. Then, our eyes were drawn to all of the garbage in the water.

We saw a skateboard, multiple disposable drink containers, and a shopping cart, all in the water. Not only is this an eye-sore, but it is contaminating the water that his home to much wild life. And, though there are fish in this stream, I wouldn't want to catch one there, seeing the polluted water they are forced to live in. 

This garbage isn't making it's way into this stream of water on it's own. The carelessness of humans is what's to blame for turning this natural body of water into a dumping ground. Taking measures to keep our waters clean is beneficial to us, the wildlife living there, and our environment--And, it's easy to do.

The National Geographic website shares a quick-read post of Ten Ways To Keep Our Water Clean Globally:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Despite the fact that earth covers 70% of the earth's surface, nearly one billion people lack access to clean water, and it is estimated that every 21 seconds a child dies from a preventable, water-related illness or disease. Over the course of industrialization, nations have begun to privatize water sources in order to maximize the operational efficiency of water regulating agencies and businesses. This privatization is happening all over the world, and is a cause for concern because it introduces bulky, invasive water treating systems into the water cycle, which in turn are polluting the same water sources that they aim to purify with harsh chemicals. While introducing an element of efficiency from a business standpoint, this process entirely jams up the natural water cycle and makes accessing clean water a near impossibility for many.

Many barriers exist that prevent not only individuals but in some cases entire communities from accessing clean water. While extensive, the vast majority of these barriers lie within the political and/or economical domains, which fundamentally indicates that it's within our power to change through participating and supporting programs and policies that aim to effectively change the way in which we obtain and access water. These programs and policies not only target poor communities within industrialized nations such as our own, but also reach out to industrializing and third world countries around the world. For more information about how to get involved check out: www.water.org

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Did A River In Your State Make This List?

Today, I read this fascinating blog post on ecowatch.com

Every year they publish a list of the top ten most endangered rivers. 

This year, the Colorado River takes the lead.

Watch this video or click on this link to learn more.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Finding Hope

As summer-time approaches, my children dust off their bikes to meet up with friends at the park. One of my jobs is ensuring they bring their water bottles along. I am sure most parents can empathize, I have to remind my children to drink water, especially when spending time in the sun!

I am so privileged to live in a city that has excellent drinking water directly from the tap!

What many of us cannot imagine, is the harsh reality many parents in our world face daily. There just is simply not enough clean drinking water to give their children. I cannot imagine thirst being a way of life.

Solving this critical issue may seem like an insurmountable task. However, there are many people working everyday to work toward the availability of clean drinking water all over the world.

Former President James Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, founded the Carter Center in 1982. One major accomplishment has been to nearly eradicate Guinea Worm Disease, which is caused from drinking stagnant water. 

In 1986, there were 3.5 million reported cases and last tallied in 2012, only 542 reported cases.

This example gives me hope. Through education, awareness and hard work, we can not only address the issue of clean water availability but we can find and implement solutions!

Here is a recent interview with Former President James Carter on the Jon Stewart show:


Vacuuming the Plastic from the Ocean

Check out what one young man, Boyan Slat, is doing to clean our oceans of plastic.

He is creating a solar-powered, current driven, Rumba for the ocean!

Courtesy of Vandy Khamsay


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Water everywhere, but is there enough?

Globally, water is everywhere, available in abundance in some countries, whereas other countries are suffering extreme shortages. Some countries like Brazil experience both extremes: drought and abundance. In 2006, a United Nations Report stated, “Overcoming the crisis in water and sanitation is one of the greatest human development challenges of the early 21st century.” Water is everywhere, yet more people are dying from a lack of clean water in our world than from war. If we as a society and a community became involved we could help the 780 million people around the world who do not have access to clean water. Two main issues are how to replenish depleting water reservoirs and how to ensure every community has a sewage sanitation system, so their water sources are not contaminated. Water.org states, “3.4 million people die each year from a water related disease.” With all of our wealth and resources, globally, we need to address the causes and find solutions to the water problem. One key step is education, educating our society and various communities in order to understand the issues and protect individuals from dying due to a lack of clean water. 

Here are two websites, which discuss the water crisis, the issues, possible solutions, and ways to get involved: