Member Profile: Drink Local. Drink Tap.

Member Type
Referred By
Blue Planet Network | Status: approved
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We reconnect people with local drinking water and the Great Lakes while engaging, educating, and empowering local people to be GLOBAL citizens. Our Making Waves from Cleveland to Uganda project for St. Charles school is our current global ACTION focus. Drink Local. Drink Tap. and GIVE BACK.

Date Founded 2009-08-01
Primary Focus Drinking Water - Community
Secondary Focus Capacity Building
History of Water Projects
Related work not on PWX.

Drink Local. Drink Tap. has almost a two year history of engaging the American public in the water conversation. We have reconnected local inner city youth to children in Uganda through writing letters, celebrating world water day, carrying personal water jugs to honor those who have to do so in their daily lives across the planet, and providing water education on local and global water issues.

Drink Local. Drink Tap. aims to reconnect Americans to the larger water crisis by starting at a very basic level. We begin the conversation with the public about drinking water discussing how to drink water in sustainable ways locally. Being located in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, we are located on 20% of the world's fresh surface water. If we are unable to reconnect people locally to something as simple as drinking water, our resources will continue to become more unsustainable and the need to act as global citizens cannot emerge.

After we engage the public in the local drinking water conversation, we begin to connect the public with local water issues such as storm-water runoff, combined sewer overflows, and water quality issues. We have done this by adopting Cleveland's beach at Edgewater State Park and building 7,000 square foot roof-top garden on Cleveland State University. Monthly beach and street clean-ups allow us to educate and engage the public in bigger picture issues that affect the sustainability of our local water supply. In addition, people begin to own the quality of their neighborhoods as well as make a tangible difference in the Great Lakes.

After this engagement and awakening, we move onto the very pressing issues of those without the water riches that exist in the US; especially in the Great Lakes Basin. These concepts are not so tangible for Americans, but can be discussed in more thoughtful and effective ways once people have been reconnected to local drinking water and the Great Lakes. As mentioned previously, we engage inner city youth in Cleveland with children at St. Charles school in Uganda, Africa; but to reach the broader public we do a variety of outreach.

Celebrating World Water Day has become an amazing avenue to reach the broader public in the global water crisis conversation. We have produced a short film, present at large public events (i.e. Pecha Kucha Volume 12, 2011 500+ attendees), and work with local artists, film-makers, BPN activist: Katie Spotz, photographers, teachers, and athletes to begin the global water awakening. We have created massive art installations for 100,000 people to view comparative water use, engage community groups in raising funds and awareness for Ugandan St. Charles school to gain fresh water facilities, and have teamed up with Blue Planet Network's Team Hope in the Ride Across America Race in June 2011.

We are continuing our outreach and TAKING ACTION globally through our installations of fresh water facilities for St. Charles school and the surrounding community in 2011/2012 in our "Making Waves from Cleveland to Uganda" project. The entire project will include producing a film to tell the story of how one drop in the bucket made waves from Cleveland to Uganda and provide other small communities with enough information to empower themselves in gaining access to fresh water.

There are not enough NGOs on the planet to solve the global water crisis. Creating critical engagement to the water conversation locally is necessary to inspire action and reconnect people across the globe through one element that brings all of us life.

Organization Background

Our group was formed in August of 2009 after the first Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit that engaged over 700 community stakeholders ranging from students to CEOs, city workers to small business owners, mothers and grassroots representatives. Our sustainable water working group quickly starting taking action and found a very supportive fiscal agent, The Institute of Applied Phenomenology in Science and Technology and created a strong online and community presence.

Since phenomenological change occurs in someone's "everydayness" when knowledge is interrupted by something "new", it became a perfect home for our group and our approach towards "disrupting" people's knowledge to move the water conversation forward. Our mission was apparent immediately. We would, "Create societal change at the level of the individual by reconnecting people with local drink water and the Great Lakes."

Since the beginning, the organization has been managed and led by Erin Huber. Huber is a native Clevelander committed to sustainable water solutions both locally and globally. She has over a decade of intense community work with the homeless, the environment, local businesses and youth. Huber has two associate degrees, a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Cleveland State University and a Master of Science in Urban Studies focusing on New Economics and Sustainability Policy.

Huber is the creator of the 7,000 square foot Huber-Westfall roof-top garden at Cleveland State University, creator of a weekly urban local-food farmers market in downtown Cleveland, and has led the Genuine Progress Index study for Northeast Ohio in 2011. She has experience teaching both in the public and serving as a teaching and research assistant at Cleveland State University for 2 years.


see Youtube after 2/25/2012