By David H. Martin
Reverence for water means understanding the vital role quality water plays in the lives of people and respecting their right to safe water security. Part of the culture of socially responsible water treatment dealers is a deep reverence for water. I am reminded of Jacques Cousteau, the late French inventor-scientist and star of the old TV series, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, which documented the environmental degradation of the world’s ocean waters from plastic debris and other waterborne contaminants. The award-winning series, popular in the 1970s, broadcast to millions Cousteau’s life-long reverence for water.
I suggest that your company embrace one of the many charitable relief organizations that help assure safe drinking water to people all over the world, as a way to express your own reverence for water on your company website. Start by pledging a company contribution on your site. And ask visitors and customers to add their own contributions to your chosen clean-water cause. In this way, the cause you support will elevate your company’s on-line image. Below are three international water cause(s) you might want to consider.
Wishing Well International
Deerfield Beach, Florida-based Wishing Well International Foundation (WWIF) is a non-profit organization that provides clean, safe drinking water in developing areas, deploying simple filtration systems that remove bacteria, viruses and other contaminants from the local water. The foundation accepts donations on its website: “$10 provides clean, safe drinking water for one person for 10 years.” The WWIF logo portrays the image of a lone walking woman balancing a water vessel on her head. It is a powerful portrayal of the problem people in third-world countries face daily, where easy access to potable water is denied by the forces of drought, lack of infrastructure and grinding poverty.
WWIF exhibited at the 2017 WQA Convention & Exposition in Orlando, FL to raise funds and awareness for the cause of clean water. The convention was preceded by WWIF’s 5th Annual Golf Tournament at the Shingle Creek Golf Club on March 28. More than 30 golfers, representing 34 companies, netted nearly $11,000 to be used to buy water filtration systems in developing areas, benefiting nearly 1,100 people.
Last summer, as representatives and sponsors of WWIF traveled across southern Africa in a motor caravan to deploy much-needed water filters, a different type of relief effort was underway back home in the United States. WWIF teamed up with its partners to provide critical relief for those affected by hurricanes in Texas and Florida. In late August, the devastating floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey destroyed thousands of homes in southeast Texas and Louisiana. The people of that region faced critical days of displacement and a lack of supplies. WWIF partnered with Culligan of San Antonio to deliver six pallets of water to the Houston area. In early September, WWIF went into action in south Florida to assist those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Irma. They transported 850 one-gallon bottles of water to the Florida Keys and distributed it to those in need. Additionally, they distributed HaloPure water purification pitchers to those affected by the boil-water mandate.
Last August, WWIF hosted a 10-day South African expedition to rural areas to deploy over 100 water filters to homes and schools—remote areas with very little infrastructure where people still fetch water from boreholes and rivers. The Bio-Foam filter, provided by WWIF, is a relatively simply and affordable technology consisting of two buckets that use gravity to push water through a filtering system, purifying water obtained from boreholes, rain tanks, rivers and dams. The device was specifically made for those who don’t generally have access to municipal water services.
According to WWIF, biosand ﬁlters are a simple yet effective method for reducing bacteria and viruses in water for rural areas. They use gravity rather than pressure or electricity to pass the water through the filtering media. After installation, each $100 ﬁlter can be used by at least 10 people for 10 years. You can get behind the efforts of WWIF by investigating the various levels of support on the foundation website, www.wishingwellintl.org.
Water For People
Denver, Colorado-based Water For People (WFP) is an international non-profit organization working across nine countries to bring safe water and sanitation to four million people. Founded in Denver 26 years ago by executives at the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Black & Veatch, it exists to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services that are accessible to all and sustained by strong communities, businesses and governments. In third-world countries, WFP is not just about building wells, installing toilets and setting up pumps, but also about creating long-term, sustainable change. It dialogues with community members, governments and business owners to find out what they need to feel healthy, safe and empowered. WFP’s talented teams build capacity from the ground up and top down, changing entire systems providing water and sanitation services that last for generations to come. Partners include AWWA, the Water Environment Federation, the Water Quality Association, the National Association of Water Companies, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies.
Since last April, WFP has worked in Peru to restore safe drinking water after devastating floods killed over 100 people and left 150,000 homeless. Since 2011, the organization has been working to provide potable water in the area of Cascas and Asunción, where local residents would often get their water supply from rivers. About 95 percent of the children in Cascas had parasites related to inadequate sanitation. The goal of WFP has been to reach 100 percent of homes in rural and urban areas of Cascas and Asunción by 2018. After six years, the project was close to reaching its goal with over 83 percent of the local population in Cascas having drinking water in their homes. But last April, torrential rains caused rivers to overflow, flooding many towns, including Cascas, which has a population of about 14,000. Cascas has 37 water systems and 26 of them were damaged by the floods and mudslides, leaving the majority of residents without potable water. This was the worst flood Peru has seen in almost 20 years. Since then, WFP teams have worked to help restore potable water supplies. In Latin America, WFP works in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Bolivia, as well as Peru. The non-profit also works in Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi and India. You can help back the efforts of WFP by checking out the various levels of support on their website, www.waterforpeople.org.
World Vision International
Seattle, Washington-based World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization serving people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. The non-profit combines relief, development and advocacy activities in its work with children, families and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision claims to be the largest NGO provider of clean water in the developing world. For more information on World Vision’s mission and how you can help, visit their website, https://www.worldvision.org/our-work/clean-water?campaign=108929307.
In 2015, World Vision provided access to clean water for 2.3 million people. For example, the organization drills wells in remote locations of Africa and trains community members so water systems continue to function after World Vision teams have left. On May 6, 2017, World Vision launched the world’s biggest 6K walk for water. More than 27,000 people in 18 countries joined the event for an extraordinary cause: bringing clean water to children and their families around the world. (Every $50 registration fee for the Global 6K for Water provides clean water for one person.) The global team raised nearly $1.6 million to support World Vision’s water programs, bringing clean water to more than 31,000 children around the world.
Watermill Express, the nation’s largest drive-up, pure drinking water and ice service company, based in Brighton, CO, combined efforts with World Vision for a cause-related marketing program that provided more than 100-million gallons of clean water to the developing world. Through the ‘One Gallon Here Gives One Gallon There’ program, for every gallon of water sold at a Watermill Express drive-up station, the company made a donation to World Vision to provide a gallon of water in the developing world.
Why not share your reverence for water in 2018 by promoting a favorite clean-water cause on your company website? I’ve given you three well-respected and credible organizations to choose from but there are many more. Making a cause more visible on your website creates an atmosphere of philanthropy that will go far in reducing water-related illnesses around the globe, as well as helping those who lack access to this live-giving and life-saving resource.
About the author
David H. Martin is President of Lenzi Martin Marketing, Oak Park, IL, a firm specializing in water improvement and environmental marketing that integrates old and new media. He can be reached at (708) 848-8404 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org