Can Crisis Secure the Right to Water?

What comes to mind when you think about water?

Perhaps a swim in the pool on a hot day, ice cubes in your favorite drink or the relaxation of a long, hot shower after a tough day at work.

Well what if you could have none of those things? What if water – and the necessity of its use – translated into stomach cramps …diarrhea …malnutrition …death?

For 884 million people a source of safe drinking water is unavailable, according to UNICEF, and for 2.5 billion people there is no access to clean sanitation.

Over 3 million people a year die as a result of water-borne diseases. In the time it took me to type that sentence, a child died from lack of clean water.

Continue reading Can Crisis Secure the Right to Water?

Work underway at World Water Week

The working sessions of the Stockholm World Water Week are underway … so what does this mean for you, me and everyone else around the globe? Read on to hear what our man on the scene has to say about new initiatives getting off the ground …



“Day 2 of World Water Week:  Stockholm, Sweden (9/6/10)”


(guest post by Alex McIntosh, founder, Ecomundi Ventures)


The luminaries of the water field took the podium today.  Dr. Rita Colwell of the US was recognized as the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize winner (equivalent to the Nobel Prize for water) for her groundbreaking work on cholera.  And Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Environmental Program shared his agency’s Green Economy Initiative program focus–responding to one of the most pressing social needs today–on integrating water into the larger policy and market-based decisions made by officials at local, regional, national and global levels. 

Connecting the dots is important, as the science is often a few steps ahead of the social debate, and bad policy today will have profound implications for the 9 billion humans projected for earth in 2040–and for the corporations that depend on reliable water resources for their operations. 

Continue reading Work underway at World Water Week

Turning on the Tap …

This week – for the first time since the United Nations adopted a resolution affirming the fundamental human right to water and sanitation in July – representatives of governments, the private sector, NGOs and academia are gathered at a major international water event, the Stockholm World Water Week.

Ensuring access to clean water for everyone is one of the most critical challenges facing our global community. It is a complex goal, but one that must remain a core focus if we are to avoid severe shortages, social unrest and needless deaths in the decades to come.

(I know … you know what’s coming don’t you?)

All week long I’ll be featuring water-related content from myself and guest bloggers looking at topics such as the right to water and pollution in China, as well as a running blog-commentary from Alex McIntosh who is in Stockholm attending the event! (For more on Mr. McIntosh’s experience, click here.)

Continue reading Turning on the Tap …

Are you Blogivated?!?

“I have signed up to participate in the Clean Water Blogivation campaign. If my blog receives the most votes, I will win an opportunity to join Dr. Greg Allgood on a clean water expedition to Africa and a $15,000 donation to my favorite charity tackling water issues.”

Few days ago, Proctor & Gamble’s GIVE HEALTH program launched the Clean Water Blogivation campaign asking bloggers to post about water issues and their desire to foment change – and to then urge their friends and readers to vote for the entry. The post with the most votes wins $15,000 to donate to their water-related charity of choice.

EVERY TIME YOU VOTE,  (and you can vote EVERY day) P&G will donate

a day’s worth of clean drinking water to an individual in a developing country.


You can vote now, here:

(NOTE: Remember to click through boxes OR the verification email they send! I didn’t … so my own vote didn’t count the first time!)

Per the campaign’s rules, I am supposed to say why I am, or want to be, a Change Agent to help provide clean drinking water to people in developing countries.

Continue reading Are you Blogivated?!?

Raising a glass for a good cause

Ok, truth time.

The run-up to the BlogHer conference later this week in New York City, and all the pre-conference #dayjob meetings I have after coming off a 6 a.m. flight into JFK airport have got my brain a bit scattered.

Full disclosure? I’m so frazzled I freaked myself out earlier today when talking to #TBFF @AspiringMama when I got it in my head that I am leaving tomorrow.  It is actually @AspiringMama who is leaving tomorrow. With all the packing, the organizing, the regular day job tasks, house cleaning, vet visits, prescription filling and dead camera batteries, can you blame me?

What I find particularly amusing about my current state of mind is that while I am attending a major blogging conference where I have been named a Voices of the Year finalist no less, I am not really blogging this week! How’s that for irony? Or slacking? Or …. Well, you get the picture.

But I always post on Mondays so I didn’t want to leave you all with nothing to show for visiting my little blog. (… and, honestly, with 4 minutes left in the day on the U.S. East Coast I won’t make it … but Central and Pacific time zones can still read this on Monday so that counts. Right. Right?!? Yes, right.)

Continue reading Raising a glass for a good cause

Tweeps exercise their rights! (and I learn a lesson)


I thought it was an easy question ….

And after ummmmm….like …(I’m 29 … I tell ya, 29!) 30 plus some odd years on this earth you would think that I’d know better.

Every day for going on 15 years I have spent hours focused on a constantly (r)evolving variety of human and environmental rights issues as part of my “day job.” This tends to put me in regular contact with academics, government officials, activists, specialists and others equally (and often more) focused on the issue at hand.

Most often the issues I am writing about are near and dear to my heart on a personal level as well (hence, my propensity to suddenly ejaculate massive amounts of passionate information on subjects that have little to do with the actual conversation I am having at the time). Many of my live and virtual friends find this endlessly interesting and a bit odd. As a result, I tend to attract a lot of questions and requests for explanation on issues.

That started me thinking (yes, yes, I know … that’s always a dangerous undertaking):

What does the average person know about human and environmental rights? What are the issues they think about? And then, finally, what are the issues that your average person passionately believes everyone else should also be aware of?

Continue reading Tweeps exercise their rights! (and I learn a lesson)