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World Water Day: How You Can Get Involved

HuffPost   First Posted: 05/21/2010 5:12 am Updated: 05/25/2011 3:55 pm

Why World Water Day? Why not World Oxygen Day or World Sunlight Day? For most Westerners, water is something we rarely have to think about. It flows freely from several points of our homes. It's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have so much water we actually bottle it and sell it. Sometimes we add vitamins or minerals to it. Occasionally even carbonation. We're bored with water and we want to give it a new kick.

It's almost hard to believe the statistics about water in the world when you actually hear them. You've probably read most of these a dozen times, but here are just a few that stick out:

•Over half of the world's illnesses are due to diseases caused by unsafe water.
One billion people on the planet don't have access to clean drinking water.
•By 2025, this number could be 1.8 billion, unless we act.

Fortunately, there are organizations all over the world working to reverse this trend, and nearly all have ways that we can all get involved. Here are some of the easiest things you can do:

charity: water is one of the most prominent nonprofit organizations in the world today. If you live in New York or London, you can volunteer to help move equipment, fundraise or even take photographs. See charity: water's Get Involved page for more ideas, or make a donation.
•Through The Water Project, you can contribute to projects in places like Kenya, Sudan, India and Haiti. You can also create your own personal fundraising page to raise money for a specific project.
Give Clean Water focuses on bringing clean water to all of Fiji's islands. They've worked in conjunction with the Fiji Water Foundation to install hundreds of water filters in Fiji's Ba region. Donating $100 can give a family clean water for a lifetime.
Drop In The Bucket aims to improve the health of African children, primarily through installing wells and sanitation systems. Donate here.
•Over a million people have joined Clean Water Action to lobby for strong policy to protect America's rivers and lakes from pollution. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) also has a few simple ways you can act to keep America's water clean, including proper waste disposal and use of non-toxic products.
•Musical artist Jewel isn't new to the cause of clean water. In 1997, she founded Project Clean Water, which just recently partnered with the Voss Foundation and Virgin Unite for the Give A Drop program, which will promote water projects around the world. Donate through GiveADrop.com or text DROP to 85944 to give $5.
•Canadian volunteer-run organization Clean Water for Haiti was founded in 2001 to promote sustainable solutions to Haiti's water crisis. For $500, you can travel to Haiti with them and volunteer -- the water crisis in the area is even more dire since the January 12 earthquake.
•For every new fan ITT Watermark gets on its Facebook page through March 26, the organization will donate $1 to water projects through Mercy Corps, Water For People and China Women's Development Foundation.
•A group of friends from Plymouth, Mich. has banded together to bring clean water to a community and orphanage in Ghana. The group is using a fundraising page on Kickstarter to raise the $4,000 they will need to implement their plan.

There are dozens more clean water projects operating out of the U.S. and abroad. Know of one you think should be included in this list? Drop us a line at impact@huffingtonpost.com or leave a comment below.

Note: Huffington Post's Impact section is published in collaboration with Causecast, an organization which provides online tools to nonprofits. Drop In The Bucket and charity: water both have profiles on Causecast.org, though they are not paying clients and Causecast in no way benefits from any donations given to these organizations.

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