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Walk for Water is Solidarity with Women, Girls, Sustainability Awareness

Walk for Water is Solidarity with Women, Girls, Sustainability Awareness

Today, March 22, the United Nations declares it World Water Day. It might seem like a celebration, but it’s mostly a chance to maintain the awareness of how important water is globally — in many cases — a matter of life and death.

WalkforWater-2019

Water is a commodity, a luxury, it provides plenty for us, but water is also scarce. More than 1.2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water. Eighty percent of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions. And in some countries, water is not only a basic necessity, but it is also something that requires people to walk far from their homes to collect it and return. Most often, it is a job that women and girls are tasked to do. Women and girls often spend up to six hours each day collecting water and the average distance to do so is 3.7 miles.

On Friday, the University of San Diego’s Office of Sustainability and Women’s Commons, teamed to host the inaugural Walk for Water event. Held on the lawn in front of The Immaculata Church, members of the campus community were invited and encouraged to walk a one-mile loop around campus with a one-gallon jug of water — some did two jugs — to honor and be in solidarity with those who do this task every day.

The event also served as an opportunity for each participant to reflect on their own water usage as a society with easy access to potable water and the importance of global water conservation.

In addition to the walk, the Office of Sustainability set up bulletin boards with inspiring stories of dedication about women and girls around the world who go on water collection walks, information about water scarcity, other statistical information and a long list of ways to conserve every day. Walkers also received a shower timer and a San Diego County Water Authority refrigerator magnet with water-saving tips.

Following the event, the sustainability office said the water jugs will be donated to a local organization, Border Angels, which was founded and is directed by USD alumnus Enrique Morones, PhD. The water will go toward humanitarian water drops as well as donated to migrant shelters. Although the jugs are plastic, the sustainability office recognizes the humanitarian necessity of clean drinking water as a priority in this instance.

— Ryan T. Blystone

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