“Annie, the gym has closed the saunas and Jacuzzis because there’s not enough water to continue to support those services. Pete, the manager, told us it’s due to climate change. I can’t believe this.” “That’s sobering LJ the experts have been warning us that we need to pay attention to water scarcity. As glaciers continue to melt, causing the sea levels to rise, our water supply is coming under severe stress.” “I guess the question is, what can we do now to protect our water supply?” “Babes, water comprises ¾’s of the earth’s surface, but less than 1% can be used. About 97% of it is ocean water, and 2% is contained in glaciers. As populations grow around the world, water conflicts could become a reality. The UN has designated March 22nd as World Water Day. Some countries and organizations are developing plans and programs focused on answers for protecting and sustaining clean, usable water. Here are five.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) – The priorities of this 69-year-old global non-profit are: Climate Change, Protection of Land & Water, Food & Water Sustainability, and Building Healthy Cities. In Kenya, TNS’s research shows more women are farmers – and therefore more dependent on water – for income. These same female-headed households have higher rates of food insecurity. The Conservancy and the Nairobi Water Fund launched the Upper Tana-Nairobi Water Fund to help female farmers and farmers over 60 with funds to address soil and water conservation measures. The construction of a “water pan,” a large, lined pool that captures and stores water for year-round use, is one project. Another is the practice of terracing on steep slopes, which keeps the soil for growing crops in place and out of the waterways. https://www.nature.org/

Charity Water – is a non-profit with offices in New York and London that works with local experts and communities to find the best sustainable solution for clean water. Charity will help fund and build a variety of answers from wells, piped systems, a Biosand Filter, or a rainwater harvesting system. The organization also supports sanitation and hygiene training as well as establishing Water Committees. https://www.charitywater.org

Water Block – New Orleans, LA. – Water Block is an urban design studio that addresses environmental and climate risks (such as flooding) and works with communities to design flood control measures and also involves young people to understand the value and importance of water management. https://waterblockglobal.com/

The International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka – This 36-year-old organization has offices in 13 countries and works with a global network of scientists to create and innovate sustainable science-based water management solutions. About 84% of the earth’s fresh water is used in agriculture. By 2030 it’s projected that agriculture demand for water will outstrip supply. Recycling wastewater is an issue the IWMI is tackling in Bangladesh. The wastewater from a local hospital that would otherwise flow into the river is now being cleaned and used to create a protein-rich feed for fish. The sale of the fish covers the cost of the system, supporting local business, and ensuring food security. https://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/
Water.org – is a more than 25-year-old global non-profit that operates in 13 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Water.org has made safe, clean drinking water accessible by providing affordable financing to over 27 million. For many, the daily practice of paying for water at exorbitant prices from vendors or collecting water from unstable sources is a reality. Both cost families in health, opportunities, and money. The WaterCredit Initiative is a pay-it-forward system that affords families the ability to purchase long-term safe water that solves immediate and long-term needs. This is one of many solutions to the global water crisis. https://water.org/solutions/

“LJ, another way people can help with water conservation is to stop relying on single-use plastic water bottles and drinking soda. Both contribute to groundwater depletion. If everyone would stop using them,  that would go a long way towards helping to stabilize clean drinking water supplies. Our immediate reality is that this is about human survivability. We must work together for a world that sustains all of us.”

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