PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Water Partnership Salutes Winners of U.S. Water Prize

U.S. WATER PARTNERSHIP SALUTES WINNERS OF U.S. WATER PRIZE 

(Washington, D.C.) February 26- Along the Reflecting Pool between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, the U.S. Water Alliance announced the 2013 winners of the coveted U.S. Water Prize:  Onondaga County, NY, for its program to “Save the Rain” and embrace green infrastructure solutions to wet weather problems; The Freshwater Trust for its collaborative market-based solutions to restore and protect rivers and streams; and, MillerCoors for their innovative and comprehensive strategies to protect and conserve water throughout its life cycle.  "Our 2013 U.S. Water Prize winners are leading the way, from East to West and all points in between, on the value of water and the power of innovating and integrating for one water sustainability,” boasts Alliance President Ben Grumbles.  “Our champions are showing how to save the rain, clean the stream, and grow with care, up and down the supply chain throughout the water cycle.”

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Why Earth Day is a Good Day to Care about Water and Sanitation

Earth Day is a great occasion for people around the world to come together to talk about environmental issues and highlight the major problems that the environment faces each and every day.  In that spirit, we’ve collected a list of ten reasons why Earth Day is a great day to care about water and sanitation (in no particular order):

  1. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, inadequate water and sanitation are the greatest threat to environmental health around the world.
  2. Two million tons of human waste are disposed of in water courses each day (UN-Water).
  3. According to USAID, more than seventy percent of all freshwater consumed on the planet is devoted to agricultural production, often in irrigated systems that are inefficient and environmentally unsustainable.
  4. Global Climate Change will exacerbate the effects of water scarcity around the world.  Climate change may reintroduce water security challenges in countries that have had reliable water supplies for hundreds of years, and 2.8 billion people are expected to be at risk of water shortages because of extreme variability of precipitation.
  5. According to UN HABITAT and UNEP 90% of all wastewater in developing countries is discharged untreated directly into rivers, lakes or oceans.
  6. Technologies that improve access to water and sanitation also can protect the environment.  Rainwater harvesting provides a new source of water and waterless toilets reduce water use and limit the amount of untreated human waste that is dumped into the environment.
  7. Bio-gas from the composting of human waste can be captured and used for providing electricity or cooking, lowering the amount of methane released into the atmosphere and reducing need for other sources of energy which could be more harmful to the environment.
  8. Responsible use of water by major consumers can have positive impacts on watershed protection and biodiversity.
  9. Ninety percent of diarrheal disease is linked to environmental pollution and the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation (UN HABITAT and UNEP).
  10. According to the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, more than 50% of the Millennium Development Goal for Environmental Sustainability (MDG 7) relies on adequate water and sanitation.

Do you have other reasons to care about water for Earth Day?  Let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

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