#Toast to Water Gives You a Chance to Join in the Celebration

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Last week marked the 21st anniversary of World Water Day. The day was designated by the UN General Assembly in 1993, to celebrate and raise awareness of issues surrounding water. This year’s celebration took place in Tokyo, focusing on the theme of “Water and Energy.” The two-day event featured numerous workshop and talks by experts from all over the world.

Other events included a meeting of the US Water Partnership, a public-private partnership featuring a broad range of Federal agencies, household-name corporations, universities and NGO’s focusing on water issues, particularly in the developing world. Among their signature initiatives are efforts to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) across Africa, improved water security in South Asia, a Great Rivers Partnership providing integrated sustainable solutions for entire river basins, and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA), which focuses on ways to respond to the impacts of a rapidly changing climate on water resources.

The US State Department hosted a Water Technology Event in Washington, showcasing exemplary water technologies.

AsiaWater 2014, Asia’s #1 water and wastewater industry event, also took place last week in Kuala Lampur.

All in all, whether you are watching the waves crashing onto the beach, or watching the snow as it begins to melt, it was—and is—a great time to take a minute and appreciate the incredible role that water plays in all of our lives. Considering the fact that some 60% of our bodies consist of it or that we cannot live without it should be reason enough.

This year for the first time, there is an opportunity to do just that, using social media to participate in the Toast to Water campaign. This kickstarting engagement action has spurred thousands of people to send in selfies or short videos illustrating some way in which water is important to them or just raising a glass in a toast.

For example, Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of the famous ocean crusader Jacques Cousteau, can be seen making her toast to water, here. General Colin Powell also got in on the action, along with Colorado Rockies slugger Michael Cuddyer, and Congressman Mike Honda. Many others, by those less famous, toast to water, for providing a home for their fish, for helping to brew their coffee, and for providing fresh produce. Twitter hashtag #toasttowater has dozens of photos and hundreds of tweets by people toasting to water. Check it out. You just might see someone you know.

The campaign was launched by Global Water Challenge, The Coca-Cola Company, and World Wildlife Fund and coordinated by Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), a nonprofit founded in 1988 “to promote sustainable development through partnerships and targeted action.”

GETF’s prime focus areas are: water & sanitation, clean energy & climate change, and sustainability.

I spoke with GETF CEO, Monica Ellis about the campaign's kickoff during World Water Week. She told me that, “the campaign encourages people to publicly toast water for all it does while spotlighting the water challenges being faced around the world.  By combining each organization’s networks, expertise and influence, the campaign is able to achieve far more when it comes to addressing global water challenges than any one organization or company could do alone. #ToastToWater is one of many initiatives that will raise awareness of global water challenges which will hopefully begin to drive positive change to address them.”

If you’re wondering how this campaign can link good intentions to actions, take a look at the link at the bottom of the Toast to Water home page, where it says, “Why toast to water?”

This takes you to a page describing some of the organizations and initiatives associated with this action that you might want to learn more about or support. It also provides a list of simple actions you can take to help conserve water at home. Another link takes you to this, more comprehensive list. You will likely see some things on there that you hadn’t thought of before.

Please take a moment to check this out, and add your voice to the chorus on your favorite social media outlet. Cheers.