World Water Day, National Water Year

The calendar may say that today is World Water Day, but at The Johnson Foundation it has been National Water Year for quite some time. As you may know, in 2009 we hosted a series of meetings with experts of all stripes, trying to discern the scope of freshwater problems in the U.S., and the various suggestions for how to better manage our water resources. We are now turning from this first phase, focused primarily on problem scoping and information gathering, to a second phase focused on action.

Today’s press release states it more eloquently than I, but in essence we are now looking for national leaders – CEO’s, elected officials, NGO presidents, executive branch leadership, etc. – to help us develop a national call to action around freshwater problems. The call to action will be the focus of our June 9th, 2010 Freshwater Summit, where participants will also be asked to commit to solution-oriented actions.

Much of this is still a work in progress, but we anticipate formalizing the call to action and accompanying commitments, and presenting them in a more formal, national venue in late summer or early fall. The behind-the-scenes work on the part of the Foundation staff and partners is immense: the old ‘tip of the iceberg’ metaphor fits well.

Which brings me back to my primary point: it may be World Water Day, but here at Wingspread every day of the year is focused on trying to solve our nation’s freshwater problems – the ‘quiet crisis’ as we have come to call it. And one of the perquisites of having every day focused on water is that I get to talk to lots of very smart people working on a range of water-related issues from a variety of perspectives. Those smart people are always sending me interesting reading. One thing that came across my desk recently was a detailed survey of Canadian opinions about water. A more complete covering of the report can be found here, but I’ve clipped one of my favorite pages for you to see here (below).

I must confess that it never even occurred to me to use a hose to melt snow in the spring, but I’m sure I’d be one of those responding that I’d be ‘upset to see’ it happening. In fact, I think I’d be upset to see any of these things happening. Doesn’t it drive you crazy to see people leave the water running while washing dishes? I bet if they turned it off, washing dishes by hand would stack up a lot better against commercial dishwashers.

I have some pet peeves that didn’t make it onto this list – like shaving one’s legs with the shower running. It makes no sense. What are your pet water peeves? I’d like to know.



Taken from 2010 Canadian Water Attitudes Survey, commissioned by RBC and Unilever Canada


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: