March 22 – World Water Day
The world water day occures each year on March 22, since 1993. It has been initiated by The United Nations so as to enlight the preciousness of fresh water.
The world water day celebrates drinking water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people worldwide who live without safe water at home.
For this special day, INOVAYA decided to broadcast ordinary stories on the subject “Drinking water and you?” that you red on this page.
Thanks to all the one who participated!
If you also have a story to tell us, send us a message on : email@example.com
“In many Romanian villages, houses do not have direct access to drinking water. However, each house has a well which satisfies daily sanitarian needs. As water from the well is not drinkable, another solution must be used to provide with drinking water : natural sources. Usually, each village have one, more or less developed, satisfies inhabitants’ vital needs.
The village of Toparcea is no exception to the rule. Located at less than 30 kms from the city of Sibiu, Toparcea has 140 inhabitants. It is a small village that tries to survive to the rural exodus which has weaned for the last 50 years. There is neither restaurant, nor bar and coffee shop. Therefore the best meeting point for the inhabitants is the water source located at the entrance of the village. They even gave it a name : Iliana.
When visiting Iliana, we must be patient : its popularity and its low flow means we must often queue, sit back and wait for other people to finish to fill their can. While lining up, people talk : about their lives, their stories, their prides and regrets. It is a place where everything can be said, under the benediction of a Saint whose icon is placed above the source.
Moments spent next to Iliana make me think of the reasons that conducted me to come and live in Roumania : being next to the nature, having a slower life rhythm, and create links with people”.
«For me, water relates to the climate. I am from La Réunion island and I grew up with the cyclonic seasons. During this period, which occurs between November and April, even when there is no cyclone directly threatening us, we are still at the mercy of rainfalls. These torrential rains have a direct impact on the quality of drinking water. During these 5/6 months, it is regularly forbidden to drink tap water. We must boil it or drink bottled water. Therefore, at a younger age, I became aware of the rarity of this water, which is believed as infinitely available by turning a simple tap. Yes, water is precious and climate change will make it increasingly rare. Without getting moralistic, it makes it clear that using water sparingly is a duty for all of us! »
“I remember when I was on holidays at my grandmother ‘s house. She used to live in the countryside, into a house with only one main room with a large fireplace and a bedroom. No running water, no toilets inside, just dry toilets located next to the henhouse. The water, we were used to get it from the well in the garden, several times a day, especially when we were a larger group! No shower. So once a week, the ritual of bathing in a large basin made us a joyful moment to share with my sister! It was in the 80’s, not such a long time ago and not so far from a big city : Nantes. With the experience I had when I was young, I learnt the value of water. When it comes drinkable, directly from the pipe, I tell myself how lucky I am, that I must be careful and not to waste it”. ”
“At home, we have a water filtration system. We are used to boil the filtrated water. We rarely buy bottled water. My mother boils water because we think it kills bad bacteria and makes water safer. Even if I know that boiling water contributes to loose some nutritive elements from it, it reassures for us. Other families around us, drink directly filtrated water”.
“Summer 1981, Schlucht’s pass, I used to be instructor at summer camps. For the children, a wonderful place to have holidays.
During my first day off, we spent the weekend to one of my friends’ farm. Happy and friendly evening with good pizzas.
In the middle of the night, I woke up : I was hot and weak. Standing up : I was dizzy ! I had never been as ill. I accused the pizza but all my friends slept well and none of them had been sick.
Sunday evening, end of the break, back to the summer camp : half of the children had been sick during the week-end. The cause : a huge storm and a herd of cattle which had contaminated all the catchment area of the summer camp’s water source!
Sanitarian consequences ends there. But in another time or in other places in the world, it could have been dramatic! This happened 39 years ago, but I never forgot it.”
“Each of us has a moment which has marked us in a career.
For me, it was in a popular district of Seine-Saint-Denis region, France. My company used to manage the water distribution in this area. Within this framework, we were facilitating pedagogical sessions for the municipality. One of them involved in animating a water bar : we invited people to taste 3 different waters : one very mineral, another from a natural source and the last one coming from the tap.
After having tasted it, a mother of three children seemed to have difficulties to make the difference between the natural source water and the tap one – same as 90% of the participants. I explained her that between these two waters, there were 2 main differences : tap water is much more ecological (no need of plastic bottles, no need of trucks transport) and much cheaper (from 30 to 500 times less expensive than bottled water).
The lady, astonished, look at me very seriously and told me something I’ll never forget:
“you are telling me tap water is as good as bottled water? You are telling me it is useless to buy 2 water packs every 2 days and then carry it to the 4th flour without lift? Do you know that you have just change my life? “
She thanked me several times and left.
When I question myself about the mean of my work, about our impact on the society, I remember this moment. And I tell myself that together, along with all people in France working on the production of high-quality drinking water, each day, every hour, we all do a wonderful job”
“Before being a memory you can tell, water used to be a strange feeling for me, at the same time visual, tactile and a sound. A mixture of all childhood learnings.
I have always associated water with a drop : a clear blue drop that moves, transforms itself and travels into our environment. This friendly droplet is nothing else than “my dear little planet”, a pedagogical cartoon of the 90’s explaining the water cycle, from the creek to the cloud. This omnipresent water, link between all the universes, stroke me strongly at that time.
In my child imagination, I remember that I was mixing this universal vision of water with a pond : there was a pond in the school garden, one in the municipal park, and at last, the most important one, the pond from our holidays’ walks.
They were many more ponds in the poetries we had to learn, such as in Anna de Noailles’ verses, or in the Monet’s paintings. Behind the nenuphars there is the fascination of the painter for this material that ripples with light and wind, that is an echo of each living creatures’ movements, no matter their size.
This contemplation of water has worked the sensitivity of artists of all times; but it is itself sensitive: since it vibrates under our every gesture, we are responsible for its fate as much as it maintains our world.
When I was a kid, I didn’t think of water in those words, but this mutual attachment was already striking me as I walked and looked at the pond from the classroom.”
“In France, drinking water rhythms our live for a long time.
Therefore we cannot think about it as if it was a chalice when repeated droughts occur.
At a time when water is being bought and sold on the stock exchange in Australia, like any commodity, it is urgent to rethink water as a scarce commodity. And therefore innovate.
While developing my eco-friendly restaurant project, a surprisingidea came to my mind. What if we could save 90% of water consumption versus a traditional restaurant. What if we could use the clean water produced to grow plants around the restaurant and use them for cooking? Why don’t we stop the carnage of waste water in restaurants, gradually trying to restore water to its elixir status ? ”
« April 2018, for my first trip outside Europe I went to Laos for a humanitarian mission.
The project : the construction of a water supply system in a village. We spent one week totally immersed into the village, living its rhythms of works and inhabitants lifetime .
After the installation of our camp in the municipal room, where we discovered our toilet with a pot as flush. We visited the village and the construction site.
In the evening, at the cleaning time, we expected to go to a water point of the village, but our young guide led us to a natural bathroom where the view was magnificent, the Naam Ou River. Every night of the week we enjoyed this moment in the bathtub. Yet, when we returned to the city in our B&B, we felt privileged to have a shower. A real luxery.
Since this trip, when visiting the school’s sanitation facilities, I have been trying to make children aware that water is precious in our world and that it needs to be taken care of every day and not just during heat periods.»
“I am a merchant navy officer by training. Freshly licensed, I embarked on the “Brittany”, a Brittany Ferries ship that sails every day across the English Channel with more than 2,000 passengers on board. I was then the 4th mechanic in charge of fresh water production. To do so, the seawater was transported in a boiler (a kind of giant pressure canner) before being evaporated thanks to the lost heat of the propulsion engines. A really interesting technique!
In parallel with this experience, I joined the ‘Nomade des Mers’ project with an idea in mind: to build a prototype boiler to promote drinking water access in emerging countries. After several months of work, the result was not very satisfactory. The system consumed a lot of energy and did not produce much. Producing drinking water is not as simple as I thought…
Then I embarked on another adventure. Three years ago, I created the Plastic Odyssey project with two teammates. This time, our goal is to tackle plastic pollution in emerging countries. One of our current problems is to find solutions limiting the use of plastic bottles. Aboard our ambassador ship we are working with Inovaya on a system that will soon be able to provide drinking water to the crew.
In addition to promoting solutions to recycle plastic waste, our ship will showcase this innovation that could provide drinking water to those who do not have access to it, while avoiding the consumption of plastic bottles and bags”
“When I was a young boy I went to Algeria for holiday break.
There, I discovered that it was as simple as opening the tap to get drinking water. What I used to take as normal and natural in France, was not elsewhere. It even was a matter of concern. This experience, I viewed like an injustice, really changed the way I see my water consumption.
Back from holidays, I began to be obsessed with the amount of water I use. I was careful when I was washing my teeth, taking my shower and also when flushing.”
“Summer 2014, I arrived in Peru with a friend of mine as part of an associative mission. The journey has been long, it was midnight in Peru and we felt a mixture of fatigue, excitement and curiosity. When we got home, we started talking with our host family while the hostess offered us something to drink to get over the trip. Not wishing to disturb, we answered without thinking «just a glass of water, thank you very much».
The father of the family kept talking to us while the mother and their son slip into the kitchen. At that point, we did not understand what was going on, but we put it on our approximate Spanish. 30 minutes later, we saw the son coming back, breathless from outside with a 10L water. Then we understood… He was looking for a shop open in the middle of the night so he could get us a glass of water.
This story will have given us a good life lesson on the value of water…”
“In Colombia, we were trekking for 2 days in the tropics, humidity at 80%, we sweated… a lot and we had not taken enough water. Start of the second day, no more water and a mountain to climb. We went slowly, my friend Victor did not feel well. We took breaks every 2 minutes. We did not really advance, but we still sweat as much…. In short, not that confortable!
At the turn of a turn, a crystal clear river of water. For sure it is healthy, we thought, we are in the middle of the jungle! What happiness! We drank, we bathed, we filled up the empty bottles. Thenwe left in great shape!
Next time, we’ll think twice about how much to pack for trekking!”
“I worked for an NGO which, among other projects, worked on clean water access for all. They were involved in the rehabilitation and construction of wells but also latrines. I completely discovered this issue of drinking water access at that time. I have learned that this is a fundamental human right recognized by the UN since 2010 (only). I especially became aware of all the consequences of lack of drinking water access – direct consequences (diseases, food insecurity) and indirect consequences (no schooling for children who sometimes walk 10kms/day to get water).”
With friends we spent five days in a van in the desert. We had brought with us just what we needed: our tents, clothes, food, some water cans, music and a huge smile.
Far from everything, the days passed and we became increasingly aware of the limited amount of our resources. At first, we used our drinking water for everything: washing our teeth, hands, face, cooking our pasta etc… and then as we went along, we had to prioritize the use of this drinking water. We’ve limited our use and we’ve almost counted the drops using it.
Finally, the last few days we didn’t have enough drinking water, so we just used it to drink. And we enjoyed it! For the rest, fortunately on the way we sometimes found non-potable water points, and we filled our empty cans.