Tag Archives: WaterAid

World Water Day 2012

Just before Christmas 2011, there was a series of posts by Travel Bloggers on the theme “Travel Bloggers Give Back”. I’m not sure what they take in the first place. That aside, anyone who has scanned through these posts will find the water plays a big role. My favourite type of water is in the form of snow crystals, but water is way, way more important than that. We are comprised around 60% water. So this is my post in the same vein as “Travel Bloggers Give Back”, but if you know anything about me then you’ll realise that I don’t like riding on bandwagons, but prefer take the hard route and walk.Glass of water
Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Four was a programme I used to listen to before going to work. I remember one speaker relating the story of him giving a glass of water to a thirsty woman in Kenya. The woman took the glass and instead of drinking it immediately, she seemed to pause for reflection. Then it dawned upon the speaker that the woman was giving thanks to God for the glass of water. In the Developed World we don’t consider a glass of water to be precious. But it is. It seems likely that “Peak Water” has already gone. We sustain our present consumption by extracting water from aquifers that took thousands, sometimes millions to be filled. Glaciers are also retreating, they are another source of fresh water in summer. Even diminishing snowfall affects the water supply from the spring melts.
The real shocking thing is this; that something looked on as worthless and wasted by most of the developed world isn’t available to one in eight on our planet. This page of statistics gives an idea of the scale of the problem. I’ll add include one statistic from the page, namely that one child dies every twenty seconds due to diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. That’s more than deaths due to AIDS, Malaria and Measles combined.
My favourite charity is WaterAid as it is dedicated to raising the issue of clean water and providing support and resources to give clean water and toilet facilities to those lacking these basic necessities.  They also run some pretty excellent campaigns such as providing water and toilets at music festivals like Glastonbury. They also organise the WaterAid200 event where they a team of 4 – 7 people on 200 mountains in the UK and Ireland between 11am and 3pm. This year’s event takes place on Saturday June 16. There are mountains left if you want to join a team. Each team must raise a minimum of £400.

You can obviously support WaterAid financially by direct donations or fund-raising. But now you can also support the WaterWorks campaign. Take a photo to demonstrate how important water and toilets are to you and upload it on the  WaterWorks site. The best photos will be used in presentations to World Leaders ahead of talks in Washington in April to discuss concerted action on water and sanitation.

About John Williams

John Williams looks at travel from a responsible consumer's perspective. He is doesn't accept hosted trips, so don't expect gushing reports of experiences that neither he, you, nor our planet can afford. He, is the first to acknowledge that when it comes to sustainable travel, he has a lot to learn. TravelCrunch is a platform for sharing his learning, but if you have any tips or disagreements feel free to air them in the comments.

World Water Week -Travel tips for saving water

This week is World Water Week a cause very close to my heart as WaterAid is my favourite charity. It is a sad fact that 884 million people in developing countries have no access to clean water. Many walk miles for a container of dirty unsafe water each day. Every 17 seconds a child dies of a water borne disease. While about 70% of the Earth is covered by water only 3% is in the form of fresh water and the majority of this is in the polar ice caps. WaterAid works on projects to bring safe water and sanitation to communities. it along with other organisations is making slow headway as there was closer to 1 billion people without safe water 10 years ago.

There is a long way to but as populations increase there can be no corresponding increase in fresh water on this small planet.

Tourism can also put strains on water supplies. It is a fact for example that the average water consumption by a French person is 140 litres of water per person per day while at home. When travelling this rockets to 300 litres per person per day! A typical occupied hotel room in the USA consumes 825 litres of water per day! A modern toilet flush will only produce 4.6 litres of water, so that’s an awful lot of flushes.  These rates of consumption put tremendous strains on water supplies in some parts of the world. So how can we be more frugal with our use of water while travelling (or at home for that matter)?

Tip 1

Do some research before your travel. Will you be staying in accommodation that has considered sustainability. Do they have measures in place for conserving drinking water such as dual flush toilets, aerated shower heads and tap faucets, do they make use of rainwater or grey water? You might also want to consider energy reduction measures and waste minimisation measures adopted as well.

Tip 2

Obvious really but short showers consume less water than long deep baths.

Finally as it is World Water Week consider supporting a water charity such as WaterAid.

Information – WaterAid, Mountain Riders and Fairmont Hotels

About John Williams

John Williams looks at travel from a responsible consumer's perspective. He is doesn't accept hosted trips, so don't expect gushing reports of experiences that neither he, you, nor our planet can afford. He, is the first to acknowledge that when it comes to sustainable travel, he has a lot to learn. TravelCrunch is a platform for sharing his learning, but if you have any tips or disagreements feel free to air them in the comments.

World Water Week 22-28 March 2009

World Water Day is on Sunday 22 March and World Water Week is the following six days. WaterAid, one of my favourite charities, has conducted a survey and found  that most visitors to restaurants would prefer tap water. Expensive ‘lifestyle’ water is often pushed by restaurants,  making diners uneasy about ordering tap water. WaterAid has just launched their ‘Tap into WaterAid’ campaign, where they have got a number of restaurants to donate some money when they order tap water. I think this is an excellent idea, as it not only reduces the strain on limited resources but saves the consumer and also funds WaterAid. Even in the 21st Century 884 million people in the developing world are without any clean water, something that WaterAid and similar NGO’s are trying to tackle.

Buying these ‘lifestyle’ bottled waters that have been heavily promoted by advertising and peer pressure over the years is very costly to the environment. The video in this post is by Back2Tap  and has a fun quiz about plastic bottle / bottled water. It shows exactly what drinking bottled water means in environmental terms and even the difference in financial cost.  It suggests that we purchase stainless steel water bottles for use when outside the home.

TNS surveyed 2,018 people aged 16-64 between 10 to 16 March 2009 using an online survey.

WaterAid’s survey revealed that:

  • 38% of respondents always ask for tap water in a restaurant
  • 25% of respondents prefer to ask for tap water, but sometimes feel pressure to order bottled water in a restaurant.
  • 37% of respondents always ask for bottled water in a restaurant

About John Williams

John Williams looks at travel from a responsible consumer's perspective. He is doesn't accept hosted trips, so don't expect gushing reports of experiences that neither he, you, nor our planet can afford. He, is the first to acknowledge that when it comes to sustainable travel, he has a lot to learn. TravelCrunch is a platform for sharing his learning, but if you have any tips or disagreements feel free to air them in the comments.