Today marks the 17th observance of World Water Day. Why a day for water? At a United Nations meeting in 1992, it was suggested that there be an international day to celebrate fresh water. Over the years, there has been a different theme for World Water Day, focusing on a different aspect or issue regarding fresh water.
It is estimated that there are nearly a BILLION people in the world that do not have access to potable water sources and an estimated extra 2.5 billion that lack the proper water sanitation. Why do these figures raise alarm? Improper sanitation is a leading cause of several types of illness and disease. Because water has such an impact on human necessity and health in almost all aspects of life, access to clean water can affect other things like wealth and educational levels.
So what is being done about this issue other than having a UN-sponsored international awareness day?
Other than some legislation, a small social enterprise has taken measures to change the world in this area. Water For Humans is a non-profit social venture who’s goal is to “bring sanitation and clean water to communities in need through partnerships with local communities, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, universities and governments. These partnerships ensure clean drinking water, create local jobs and protect local water assets.”
Water For Humans began as a graduate school project by Stan Brown and Rick McKenney and officially launched this past July, serving two communities in Oaxaca, Mexico. They bring low-cost drinking water to these communities which ultimately helps families, schools, restaurants and health institutions have access to better quality water and teaching them how to install water purification systems in their towns. Stan Brown says in this article:
“Over a billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water. It’s one of the leading causes of illness worldwide…our goal is to address this issue watershed by watershed delivering low-cost, clean water technology while creating jobs and a self-supporting social enterprise.”
Learn more about World Water Day or Water For Humans. To learn about other social enterprises that are using business models to help out the world outside of water, check this out.