Today is the international observance of World Water Day – an initiative that started back in 1992 that has embraced a different theme each year to address the growing water crisis. For 2011, the focus is “Water for Cities”, addressing the impact global urbanization has on water systems, management, and access.
While there are many personal decisions you can make everyday to help limit your impact on this precious resource, below are three organizations doing their part on a grand scale. Please consider donating or getting involved to make a difference for the estimated 1.1 billion people lacking access to clean water.
Founded in 2006, this org has helped fund 2,906 projects in 17 countries, benefiting over 1,277,430 people. Of all the non-profits using Twitter, charity: water has the largest following with over 1.3 million – including a huge celebrity base. Last year, an estimated $12M-$13M was raised for clean water initiatives. Fans like Justin Bieber, Alyssa Milano, and Jessica Biel have all donated their “birthdays” to the cause with epic results. To donate or become involved, visit the official website here.
Like charity: water, Water.org is a fairly new organization which formed after a merger between actor Matt Damon’s H20 Africa charity and Gary White’s WaterPartners. It too focuses on funding clean water projects in the developing world. Using his celebrity, Damon has done a particularly effective job of integrating awareness of this charity through shows like “Entourage” and humorous PSA videos. At the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative, the organization committed $2 million to provide 50,000 people in Haiti with safe water and sanitation over three years. To donate or become involved, visit the official website here.
The UNICEF TAP Project
Since 2007, the Tap Project has helped raise more than $2.7 million towards clean water initiatives on behalf of UNICEF. This week, thousands of restaurants across the U.S. are helping to generate even more cash by participating in the $1 Tap Water campaign; which asks customers to pay $1 to drink plain ‘ole tap water with their meals. In addition, they’ve also enlisted some Hollywood support and launched a clever luxury bottled water line called “Celebrity Tap”. For a $5 donation, you can be entered in a raffle to win the personal tap water from the homes of stars like Selena Gomez, Adrian Grenier, Dwight Howard, Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Robin Williams. To donate or become involved, visit the official website here.