“The Water Issue” in the April 2010 issue of National Geographic was a good read for me. I was amazed at what I read.
I read about how we use water and how it is so precious to life. I was pleasantly surprised to find out others take “military showers”, like me. Essentially, this type of shower is turning off the shower water while lathering, which saves water.
What this issue missed was looking back into our own history. In years past we had such things as “suds saving washers”, collecting rainwater for hair washing, re-using bath water, etc. All these were water saving techniques.
This issue of National Geographic offered a section on “How to Help – Taking Action”. Below are the sites listed and my brief impression of each.
- Water for People helps developing countries manage their water supply and sanitation. The U.S. is missing as one of the countries served, but I think concerned U.S. citizens can learn much from Water for People.
- Water or Wash Advocates aims to provide Safe drinking Water and Basic Sanitation for All. It looks like this is mostly an informational organization, promoting education and training. I think Engineers without Borders would be a good companion for Water or Wash Advocates. Engineers without Borders helps people make their own water pumps, water purification devices, and sanitation stations.
- Population Services International (PSI) especially helps with malaria, children dying due to lack of water and/or sanitation, HIV, and reproductive health issues. PSI seems similar to the organization Hesperian Health Guides, though the two have their own specialties.
- Global Water Challenge aims to achieve our goal of universal access to clean water and safe sanitation. Though providing global coverage, this organization seems to have its roots in the United States.
All these organizations seem to be heading in the same direction, more or less. As I read these sites, some questions or opportunities come to mind.
- Is there an opportunity for mergers, collaboration, sharing of financial resources and/or expertise, etc. in these organizations?
- Could various Search Engines “crawl” these sites and find similarities on an ongoing basis? By doing that, these organizations would be aware that they might be duplicating efforts.
- Perhaps a wiki could link all these organizations and provide a central location. Open innovation could occur from the public and all these organizations could benefit. Senior citizens from all over the world could share their water-saving techniques from the past, like those techniques I mentioned earlier in this article.
For more information on the organizations listed in the April 2010 of National Geographic, please see How to Help from this issue.
As for me, I will keep doing what I can to save water. What are you going to do?