We live a very fortunate life. Our family is not wealthy—at least not by American standards—but we have enough food to eat, a comfortable roof over our heads, and clean water to drink.
It’s easy to take these things for granted. I remember the day my husband and I caught ourselves lamenting how slowly the water was coming out of our refrigerator water dispenser. Seriously. The clean, cold, safe water that was pouring into our home, that we didn’t have to walk three miles to fetch, that had been cleaned in a municipal facility and then filtered again through our fridge. Not our finest first-world moment. And definitely not the example we want to set for our kids.
But clean drinking water shouldn’t be considered a first-world privilege—it’s a basic human right. And right now, water is a global humanitarian crisis. The numbers are shocking. Ten percent of the world does not have access to clean, safe drinking water. Women and children (mostly girls) spend 40 billion hours a year collecting and managing water needs for their families, when they could be going to school or earning an income. One thousand children die every day from diseases caused or contaminated drinking water.
Children are dying because they don’t have clean water. This is our human family we’re talking about. That’s simply not acceptable.
The issue of global water access is so vast, I think we have to attack it in every way possible. That’s why partnering with the P& G Children’s Safe Drinking Water (CSDW) initiative appealed to me. The non-profit CSDW initiative was established in 2004 and has won several awards for innovation and humanitarian action. They’ve provided 9 billion liters of clean water to people in more than 75 countries, and also donate their water purifying packets as part of national disaster relief efforts.
How they do it pretty fascinating. This is one of those instances where chemistry can save lives. Utilizing the research behind laundry detergent, CDSW created packets that remove dirt and contaminants from turbid water. People can literally pull a 10-liter bucket of water from a dirty stream, and easily transform it into a day’s worth of purified water for a family of five.
Here’s how it works:
CSDW sent us a kit similar to what a family would use, only smaller, for us to try out and demonstrate. The kids were excited to see how it worked. My 6-year-old called it our “science experiment.” I was excited to show them what kids who don’t have clean water pouring into their home can do to get safe, drinkable water.
First, we created dirty water. (Can you imagine this being the only water you have available to drink? Ugh.)
Next we added the water purifying packet.
Then we stirred vigorously for five minutes. At first, it didn’t seem to be doing much, but after about four minutes, we could see that the dirt had started to bind together in chunks.
The fancy word for what’s happening here is flocculation. The dirt and particles that muck up the water bind to the chemicals in the powder and separate from the water. Nifty.
Next, we waited 5 minutes for the floc to settle at the bottom of the jar. (As you can see, BoyWonder found this all very fascinating. He’s our little science guy.)
Next we poured the water through a paper towel to filter any floc left floating.
After the water was filtered, we waited 20 minutes for the disinfectant to do its work.
Then it was ready to drink. (In theory, anyway. They suggested we don’t drink this water, since one packet is meant to clean 10 liters of water. Our small-scale demo with a full packet had too much chlorine in it. But we would have tried it if it had been a full-scale demo. It looked really good.) Amazing.
The CSDW initiative has set a goal to provide 15 billion liters of clean water by 2020. The great thing is that it doesn’t cost much to help out.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Learn more and donate to the Children’s Safe Drinking Water initiative at their website www.csdw.org.
- Each packet costs about 10 cents and provides a day’s worth of water for a family of five
- $7.50 provides clean water for a child for a year
- $30 gives a whole family clean water for a year
- Watch and share the video below to donate a day’s worth of drinking water for a family. Easy peasy.
BONUS: #POWEROFCLEAN GIVEAWAY
As a thanks for helping spread the word about the CDSW initiative, P & G has provided a giveaway for my U.S. readers! Leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win a Procter & Gamble product basket (worth at least $50) AND a donation of $30 to CDSW to provide water for a family for a year. I’ll choose one lucky winner on Thursday, November 5th.
Clean water is a human right. Let’s make sure more families get this basic need met.
(Giveaway Rules: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of US & DC who are 18 years of age or older. Giveaway starts 10/27/2015 and ends 11/5/2015. Sponsored by The Motherhood in partnership with Procter and Gamble. For the full list of rules, click here.)
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with P & G and The Motherhood.