- One of the most significant, yet ignored, impacts of climate change is its disruption of the water cycle.
- The youth-driven climate movement provides examples of how to incorporate water into the climate agenda by raising awareness, encouraging advocacy and promoting innovation.
- World Water Day 2020 is focused on the interconnectedness of water and climate change.
1. Raise Awareness<p>Not enough is understood and communicated about the devastating risk of climate change to the world's water resources. Currently, <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/3674533?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents" target="_blank">50% of our drinking water comes from glaciers</a>, which are melting at an unprecedent speed. Higher air temperatures are causing increased flooding – <a href="https://www.zurich.com/en/knowledge/topics/flood-and-water-damage" target="_blank">which is affecting more people globally than any other natural hazard</a>. If no measures are taken, water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, is expected to cost some regions <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water/publication/high-and-dry-climate-change-water-and-the-economy" target="_blank">up to 6% of their economic growth</a>.</p><img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4ODQ1NS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMTIxODQ1MX0.qJ4_h03eH2s3D_6FnWaae2eoUC_2dU4EvoaADlwnha0/img.png?width=980" id="77940" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fcd44dcbca3778d12738b067737eaf05" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
2. Be an Advocate<p>Young people are organizing and uniting around the world to raise awareness through climate strikes – bridging political differences and linking separate sectors. Rather than confronting one environmental issue at a time, they are holistic in their advocacy, recognizing the strength in combining efforts.</p><p>During the 2020 Annual Meeting in Davos, Global Shapers engaged in climate work and discussions on the future of water. Their participation, enthusiasm and conviction to further incentivize young people to scale up water innovation, resulted in the stakeholder proposal to develop an award. Rather than being a one-off entrepreneurial activity, this prize aims to be a milestone in a long-term water advocacy agenda.</p><p>While having a Corporate Social Responsibility programme is common, more companies could push the cause. An example is Heineken's "<a href="https://www.theheinekencompany.com/newsroom/heineken-announces-every-drop-water-ambition-for-2030/" target="_blank">Every Drop</a>" campaign, dedicated to lowering water usage to combat water scarcity.</p><p>Choose to be a champion, mobilize for the climate-water cause and implement what you advocate!</p>
3. Seek Innovation<p>Since 2012, the rise in smart phones has been dramatic (to date, there are more people with a mobile phone than access to a flushable toilet). Today's youth is the generation most accustomed to technology from an early age. With the increase of artificial intelligence, smart sensoring and blockchain, the possibilities for tackling water issues have multiplied.</p><p>In the run-up to COP 21, youth representatives released a white paper with recommendations in four key areas on how to address climate change – all of which included water. This led to the creation of the <a href="https://youthwaterclimate.org/project/ahiafor-yahovi-amedzape-danyi-apeyeme-togo-tonfuturtonclimat-project-to-support-the-young-people-for-the-protection-of-environment-water-and-land-in-togo/" target="_blank">Youth for Water and Climate</a> (YWC) initiative. Similar to the World Economic Forum's <a href="https://www.weforum.org/uplink" target="_blank">UpLink</a>, the YWC is a platform connecting young, innovative solution providers with solution seekers that are able to offer technical and financial resources to help scale up the projects.</p><p>By providing the means and the mentoring, the chances for these projects to develop increase, while offering tangible solutions for companies in return. Companies such as AB InBev have launched <a href="https://www.ab-inbev.com/sustainability/100-accelerator.html" target="_blank">sustainability accelerators</a>, enabling start-ups to grow, while learning from their breakthrough water innovations. In line with stakeholder capitalism, more companies aim to be inclusive – and what better way to do that – than by getting insights into innovative solutions for water challenges and climate change.</p>
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The Atlanta-born, Appalachian-bred, New Orleans-seasoned soulful Folk/World troubadours Rising Appalachia released their latest music video today in honor of World Water Day.
Drink Local. Drink Tap. is on a mission to creatively reconnect people with local water in Northeast Ohio and beyond. This year’s World Water Day, themed “Cleveland Water ROCKS!,” is March 22 and will be celebrated for the third year in a row with hundreds of local students, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and volunteers.
Students will participate by walking from City Hall with Jackson to the Rock Hall carrying a day’s worth of water with them in large containers they have decorated. The walk symbolizes the students’ counterparts in Uganda who have to walk miles each day to collect water to survive. After the walk, Drink Local. Drink Tap. (DLDT) will conduct interactive learning sessions and show a water film in the Rock Hall’s theater.
In addition to celebrating World Water Day, DLDT conducts educational outreach through its Wavemaker Program. The Wavemaker Program provides teachers and students with the tools they need to be Wavemakers in the world. Becoming a Wavemaker means: kicking the bottled water habit, volunteering at a beach cleanup, having DLDT speak at an event, in a classroom, or assembly, and raising funds to share water access with fellow students in need. The program allows students to act individually, locally and globally to become water stewards and share with others in need.
Beyond the classroom, DLDT has completed one movie and is working on a documentary for 2012. Living in the Great Lakes Region, Northeast Ohioans are some of the richest people on the planet. Twenty percent of the world’s fresh surface water sits in our backyard and we rarely think twice about turning on the tap, flushing a toilet or taking a shower. We want people to wake up to our water riches and share this positive piece of Cleveland with the world.
On Feb. 25 DLDT is hosting a fundraiser featuring African drumming, food, drink, screening of the DLDT movie and opportunities to purchase photography.
For more information or details about the event, click here.