Sustainable Citizen:
Dive into the Water Discussion!

Written by Kirstie Hibbard on August 27, 2015 in General, Sustainable Citizen


August 23-28 is World Water Week! World Water Week is held annually at the Stockholm International Water Institute in Sweden. This year’s theme is “Water for Development.”

More than 200 organizations are currently meeting to hone the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to consider the one billion people who will still lack safe drinking water.

We’re following the discussion from sunny San Diego and feel the need to address water security both within our international programs, and at home in California.


Plant With Purpose partnering communities are deeply impacted by drought and limited access to clean water. Farmers struggle to irrigate their crops and families walk miles to reach potable water sources. To combat these difficulties, Plant With Purpose implements basic watershed restoration efforts including reforestation, soil conservation, and construction of large-scale rainwater cisterns.


Accessing water in developing countries is a daily struggle. For example, 40 percent of the people in Haiti lack access to clean water. Through household surveys, Plant With Purpose partnering communities in Haiti reported an average of walking 40 minutes to access water. This is actually a 26 percent decrease in comparisons to non-participating households. Strides are being made but water continues to be a global concern.


The severity of our water shortage in California is equally concerning. With amply flowing faucets and historically few statewide restrictions, conserving water can seem more like a good deed than a necessity. In our fourth year of extreme drought, momentum is building to better manage our precious water.


Drawing from the conference in Stockholm, UC Davis will host a Water Policy for Food Security conference in early October. As California’s most esteemed school of agriculture, the conference will address growing demands on water systems posed by California’s agronomy, as well as global challenges.


California is ready to better manage our water systems and engage in the global discussion. Governor Brown’s recent visit to the Vatican to discuss issues of water conservation with the Pope is an example of this.

Drawing this international attention is Governor Jerry Brown’s recent Executive Order. Amongst other things, it calls for:

  • a 25 percent statewide reduction in potable urban water use through February 28, 2010
  • the replacement of fifty million square feet of lawns with drought tolerant landscapes
  • monetary incentives for the replacement of inefficient household devices

You may have even noticed showers turned off at your favorite state beach and restaurants asking if you want water before serving a complimentary glass!


Now you are asking, what can I do?

  • To support those who truly have limited access to the liberty of water, join Plant With Purpose in one of our many efforts to secure water sources in our partnering communities.
  • To support more effective management of state resources, learn about California’s plans in the State Water Resources Control Board. Investigate our statewide strategic plan, water rights, drought information, and even report your water wasting neighbors through this resource!

Stay tuned for updates from our programs, World Water Week in Stockholm, and local efforts right here in the Golden State.

One Comment

  1. This blog gave me a much better background for the scale of what we are dealing with and the efforts made so far at home and abroad. I am worried that we are behind the curve in most areas in our efforts to conserve water. It still amazes me that despite my best efforts at our house, millions of people still live on the amount of water I probably brush my teeth with!. I am sure if droughts worsen, the poor will continue to bear the brunt of this hardship. But every effort we make counts and your links give a few more tools to help in our community.

    Vaya con Dios, Dr.Doug

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