“Water is a fundamental human right,” said Pedro Sancha, the senior vice president of Nalco Water, an Ecolab Company. “The world is just getting to grasp the water crisis [and] where we’re heading in terms of shortage. The United Nations thinks by 2030 there will be a 40 percent shortage of fresh water, so we’ve got to take action.”
The Filter Build
Action was made locally on World Water Day.
“We got hundreds of associates around the world who are coming together, in partnership with Ecolab Foundation and our NGO partner Wine to Water, to put together about 1,700 filters that are going to be shipped to places around the world where people don’t have access to clear water,” explained Sancha.
Each of the 1,700 emergency water filters built by Ecolab volunteers at the event can provide clean drinking water for a family for ten years.
“It was really gratifying just to know that we’re helping. It’s such a great feeling to know that we’re helping in such a – to me a small way – but, I never knew just by doing that how much it helps [and] how many years that the families can go off of that,” said volunteer Kathy Guimond.
“It was so amazing to have these itty bitty pieces of plastic, little bitty syringes,” said volunteer Nicole Spiller. “And just putting them together it takes all of, two minutes, if that. Unbelievable.”
Wine to Water
The filters were developed by Wine to Water, which was founded by Doc Hendley fifteen years ago. Their humanitarian efforts have built water systems for needy areas in over 30 countries.
“So [we] go in to a community, take that water, which is completely filthy, clean it for them, but also provide wells or water systems so they have water right outside their door,” said Hendley. “They walk three or four minutes instead of three, four, five hours. It totally changes these communities. So you begin to see these whole communities begin to pull themselves out of poverty right when they have access to something that we take for granted every single day.”
The filters built on World Water Day will be shipped to Myanmar, Nepal, and parts of South America.
More About the Filters
The water filters use the same technology as kidney dialysis to filter out 99.99 percent of harmful bacteria that cause water-borne illnesses.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.