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.