Crowdsourcing Aims To Solve Global Water Issues

April 26, 2011

I finally got around to reading the latest issue of the Rotarian, a magazine for members of Rotary International. What got my attention was a formula on the back cover: 54H20. It's the logo for the Five for Water Foundation -- a project under the Rotary Foundation umbrella that raises funds to provide clean water to third world countries. According to 54H20, 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water and 30,000 people die each day due to water-related illnesses.

I finally got around to reading the latest issue of the Rotarian, a magazine for members of Rotary International. What got my attention was a formula on the back cover: 54H20. It's the logo for the Five for Water Foundation -- a project under the Rotary Foundation umbrella that raises funds to provide clean water to third world countries. According to 54H20, 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water and 30,000 people die each day due to water-related illnesses.

That same issue featured a story on Cholera: Haiti's Aftershock. According to the article, the epidemic's first victims drank cholera-infested water from the Artibonite River.

It's hard to fathom that there are still people on the planet without the basic necessities. But it's good to know that there are organizations and companies that make it part of their corporate structure to address such problems.

Enter ITT Residential & Commercial Water, which along with foundation partner ITT Watermark, launched an Ideation Challenge on http://www.innocentive.com/to help address water problems worldwide.
 
The focus of the Challenge is to educate illiterate populations about the importance of purifying drinking water.

The Challenge winner, who will be announced in May, will receive a grand prize of $5,000.

“The Ideation Challenge will harness the creative brain power of people all over the world, to examine the global water challenge from a new angle,” says Anthonie Lombard, vice president and director of global engineering, RCW. “Watermark is more than a philanthropic program that aids those in need; it’s an opportunity for people to come together and make a true global impact on the well-being and future of society.”
 
Founded by Eli Lilly, InnoCentive is an independent organization serving many in the InnoCentive Global Solver Network.  The crowdsourcing network harnesses the brainpower of individuals with varied professional backgrounds and work experience to help find solutions to challenges in disciplines such as business & entrepreneurship, chemistry, engineering/design, food/agriculture, math and many others.

I look forward to reading about the Challenge winner's solution and hope that it has an impact on bringing the world one step closer to clean water. I also plan on doing my part as a Rotarian to help eradicate dirty drinking water the same way Rotary International has helped nearly eradicate Polio. . . one dose at a time.
 
Traci Purdum
Senior Digital Editor

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