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Target Water Bulletin - June 2012

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TarTarget Water Bulletin                 June 2012

It is June already and my club year - as well as the academic year - is coming to a close. Is someone in your circle of family and friends busy with the end of the school year? As I write this, I am in London, staying with my daughter, Kayleigh, who is getting her Masters degree at a university in the city. She was tired from a demanding year of studies and since the apartment she stays in has an extra room, I volunteered to come for 2 weeks to give a little motherly support (cook, do laundry, make study snacks, etc. and just generally be supportive). She is nearly at the end of her 3½ week final exam period (last test on Friday!) and her tests have gone well. Of course, a 2 week stay in London hasn't exactly been a hardship for me!!

I have spent part of my time being a tourist and made a surprising discovery in my wanderings around the city. While I am pretty keen on water efficiency and the challenges that are coming to light all over the world, I had the idea that most people in developed countries didn't think much about the importance of water. However, I am noticing that Target - June 2012attitudes are changing! As I walked downtown, one of London's distinctive Double Decker busses drove past with the following slogan on the side:

WE ARE IN DROUGHT - None of us can make it rain...but we can all use less water. Please use water wisely.

The next day I saw a different slogan adorning the side of a bus: RAIN OR SHINE - Please always use water wisely.

Target - June 2012 R or SBoth slogans were sponsored by Thames Water -  great job of raising awareness!

Hopefully, you are also noticing more water awareness, as well as heeding the message to use water wisely. Be a good example for your family, your friends and your club. Read on for some awareness information as well as a fund-raising success story and a Graduation update from Cambodia.

 

Have a great summer! 

Cheers! 

Anne van Oorschot

Target Water Program Chair

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Water Awareness: Newsletter Cut & Paste

In my last bulletin, I talked a bit about the concept of embodied water, the amount of water which is used directly or indirectly during the growing, processing and transportation of the goods we use or consume, or the services we use.  I would like to continue that topic and talk about a Water Footprint.

Target - June 2012The water footprint of a person, company or nation is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the commodities, goods and services consumed by the person, company or nation. The idea of the water footprint is quite similar to the ecological footprint, but focuses on the use of water. What may come as a surprise is that very little of that water - only 5 % - runs through toilets, taps, and garden hoses at home. Nearly 95 % of your water footprint is hidden in the food you eat, energy you use, products you buy, and services you rely on.

The virtual-water content of a product (a commodity, good or service) is the volume of freshwater used to produce the product, measured at the place where the product was actually produced (production-site definition). It refers to the sum of the water use in the various steps of the production chain. The adjective 'virtual' refers to the fact that most of the water used to produce a product is not contained in the product. The real-water content of products is generally negligible if compared to the virtual-water content.

The water footprint of individuals varies, as does the water footprint of countries. Check out the list below to see how 10 different countries compare. The first number indicates the cubic meters of water used, per person, per year; while the second number refers to the annual domestic water withdrawl per person:

·         United States2483 m³ water/capita/yr.  - 60.8 m³

·         Canada: 2049 m³ water/capita/yr. - 8.55 m³

·         France: 1875 m³ water/capita/yr.  - 6.16 m³

·         Belgium/Luxembourg: 1809 m³ water/capita/yr.  - 1.09 m³

·         Sweden: 1621 m³ water/capita/yr.  - 1.07 m³

·         Germany: 1545 m³ water/capita/yr.  - 5.45 m³

·         U.K. : 1245 m³ water/capita/yr.  - 2.21 m³

·         Netherlands: 1223 m³ water/capita/yr.  - 0.44 m³

·         Egypt: 1097 m³ water/capita/yr.  - 4.16 m³

·         China: 702 m³ water/capita/yr.  - 33.32 m³

(For a more extensive list of countries, click on the following link here - starts on pg. 55)

As you can see, there is a real range in the water footprint of countries as well as the domestic water use by individuals. I urge you to calculate your water footprint, which is very easy to do using the link here. How do you compare to the list above?

 Target - iPhone

Have an iPhone? There is a Virtual Water app available 

to help you become more conscious about how much water our everyday food and beverages really consume. Use the slider to adjust the amount of each product. swipe to navigate and compare products. Flip to get quick facts. The app supports the metric as well as the US customary system. For details, click here

Read more at http://waterfootprint.org  

Fun-raising - One Club's Success Story!

My fund-raising success story for this month comes from one of my neighboring clubs: AWC Amsterdam. This club has active neighborhood groups, and the Haarlem group of the AWCA planned a very successful BBQ Beach Party (Even though the weather was not truly "beachy").Co-event organizer Bianca van Berkelsent me the following information about this fun event:

Target - Juine 2012-AWCA Beach partyRaising money the fun way! 
 
"For 85 years American women have come together to find their way in a new country and culture called The Netherlands. Supporting each other and finding out that others also struggle with the "just act normal, then you're crazy enough" -culture. Through it all we have been able to have fun, show our crazy side...and excel - even amongst our Dutch partners and friends.
Our recent BBQ Beach Party Splash in Zandvoort on May 12th was a good example!

It took quite some meetings, but we got it done; carefully spending every dime we received for this event. There were lei flower necklaces to wear, lots of raffle prices to win, a small bottle of wine in a modern ice bag with the AWCA logo to take home, dancing, wearing flippers for the picture, great food and lots of fun.
Target- AWCA raffle (6-2012)
Somewhere, the idea of raising awareness and money for FAWCO's water project snuck into the well planned program. What the Haarlem event planners do well is sinking their teeth into an idea to make the event something special.
Boldly we convinced a lot of sponsors to donate items. After 30 minutes of deliberation about the unique combination, the raffle tickets were offered for 2 tickets for € 3, 4 for € 5 and 9 for €10. Did it ever encourage sales! A raffle is a great and effective way to raise money. While some might not want to just donate to a good cause, the possibility of winning a prize got people excited, resulting in a lot of ticket sales.

One half of each ticket was deposited into a water pitcher by the preferred prize. Some men 'in-voluntarily' volunteered to put Target - AWCA group (6-2012)their hand into the pitcher to happily announce the winner. Prizes such as wine, dinners, a beauty treatment, flowers, and a gasoline cheque caused exhilarating reactions.
Raising money - €600! - for a wonderful charity like the FAWCO Water Project is what American women are known for. It made us feel great to provide so many people with fresh water in Cambodia; something that is so common to us, but so rare to them." 

Update - Wells for Clean Water, Cambodia

Our donations to the Wells for Clean water project in Cambodia are over €100,000 - a fabulous result! That has resulted in 244 family wells and 151 field wells to date. As I have previously mentioned, there is a gap between when we donate the money and when the wells are dug, so look for an update on the number of wells after the summer.

I recently received the following message from Janne Ritske, founder of Tabitha and thought I would share it with you. Inspiring as always...

Dear friends and partners,
It's the time of year for many of us for graduation - graduation from finishing one grade in school and moving to the next. Graduation is also an integral part of our work in Tabitha. In May and June - all of our projects talk about which families should graduate and which families should continue. It's not an easy process as many of our families are loathe to leave our programs. I would like to share just one story of a family graduating.
Sokeang and her husband and 6 children joined our program five years ago. Life was very difficult but Sokeang quickly joined our savings program - much to the disgust of her Target - Tabitha, June 2012husband. She took his abuse for the 10 weeks it took to get through the first cycle and then bought her first sack of rice. His attitude changed dramatically. Over the next few years, they received a well - they raised pigs, chickens and ducks - they grew rice year round - they built a latrine and saved to buy materials for a new home. Target - Tabitha crops June 2012It took time and courage and strength but they continued. I asked them how it all felt. Her husband looked at me "You gave us water - cool, clean abundant water and we could do everything -you gave us a way to protect our money - to do things step by step - now look at us - we are happy - we work hard but we are happy. We cannot say thank you enough." Graduation is a good thing!

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