Water Doesn’t Respect Boundaries, Nor Economic Prosperity: Water Advocate Mina Guli
- IWB Post
- April 23, 2019
You’d think that on a planet where 75% of the surface is water, lack of it would not be an issue. And now we even have polar ice caps melting, which means even more water. But alas, that isn’t the case. Almost all of the available water isn’t drinkable, and the safe drinking water from the melting glaciers isn’t … well, accessible. The universe might have been slightly, very slightly tipsy when the planet formed.
Jokes apart, water is a precious asset, especially now when resources are getting depleted and climate change has disturbed weather patterns. The solution to that is a pretty straightforward one, make conscious efforts to not waste water but conserve it.
But an aspect that not a lot of us are aware of is ‘invisible water’, which is the water that is used in what we buy, use, and consume. It could be anything from food, clothing to even electricity. Water in huge amounts is used for the production of all these items and industries are the biggest producers of water pollution.
As part of IWB’s collaboration with MaahiRoj Eco-Festival by AnanTaya, we’d conducted a live Twitter chat with Mina Guli, an Australian businesswoman, who is the founder and CEO of Thirst, an organization that promotes water conservation by educating young children. Mina is a water advocate and an ultra runner, who initiated the #RunningDry Movement in an effort to create awareness of the global water crisis. She began her run at the New York City Marathon on the 4th November 2018 that will end with the completion of 100 marathons around the world. As stated on her website, “#RunningDry is a call to each of us to save water and to join together to change the way that we all use, consume and think about water. We want to make saving water famous. To create a global community of water-conscious citizens who care about water, and are willing to act to avert the global water crisis. We need to make saving water not just the right thing to do, but the only thing to do.”
After the 62nd marathon, Mina injured herself, but she didn’t let that deter her. Earlier this year in January, she called out to people all over the world to run marathons in their respective places for as long as they could. With the tagline ‘100 Marathons l 1 Day l 1 Reason’, the event was a ‘global marathon for the global water crisis.’
“Water doesn’t respect boundaries, nor economic prosperity. It doesn’t play by our old rules of developed and developing countries. It is the new liquidity crisis,” she urges the issue of the water scarcity.
In this Twitter chat, she spoke about invisible water, water conservation and ways to contribute on an individual level.
Here are the excerpts:
On what motivates her
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor Change is made by people with purpose, passion & perseverance. I found mine on the banks of the Orange River, when I saw the impact our daily food and clothing choices have on water. I made a commitment then to keep running until our planet is no longer #RunningDry.
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor In terms of what keeps me going? When taking another step seems impossible, I think about the world I want to leave for the next generation. It is their hopes and dreams that drive me to achieve the things I never thought were possible. #MaahiRoj2019
On the concepts of invisible water and water footprints
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor 90% of the water we use everyday ‘invisible’ – its in what we use, buy and consume, from food to clothing & electricity. The goal with #RunningDry is to make the invisible, visible. We want greater global awareness of our waterfootprints and greater water efficiency #MaahiRoj2019
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor Imagine everything was made of water… Instead of seeing a burger or a t-shirt, you see the 2700L of water used to make it. Changes are easy – Adopt #meatlessmondays, buy 100% recycled or organic cotton, move to zero foodwaste, say no to single use plastics #MaahiRoj2019
On changes required in consumer behaviour
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor When we consumers demand water smart products, companies will provide them. When we voters & citizens demand water smart policies, governments will provide them. All change starts with us. Reduce waste, choose differently, change our demands. #EveryDropCounts. #MaahiRoj2019
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor You don’t need to be anyone to be someone. Every woman everywhere is capable of being an agent of change. Together we need to have the courage and strength to share our experiences and tell our stories – human stories share and inspire in a way facts and figures never will.
On the burden water crisis places on women
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor I walked with women who carry water for hours everyday, with girls who collect water rather than study, or who wait at home – not for a school bus, but for trucks bringing water. The water crisis affects us all, but for these women and girls it fundamentally changes their future.
On environmental activism and how to bring about change in the current situation
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor The solution is collaboration that transcends boundaries, politics and religion. It is El Paso (US) and Juarez (Mex) working *together* to manage the Rio Grande. #MaahiRoj2019 (2/2)
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor The key to change is leading with honesty, passion and conviction. Women throughout the world have a unique perspective on the water crisis that can teach us so much about what needs to change. We must listen to these stories, as we have so much to learn from their teachings.
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor I believe that every one of us is capable of change. We need everyone, everywhere to know and believe this if we are going to create a future with enough water for everyone, forever. The media can make a difference by focusing on these stories and showing us that it’s possible.
@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor My hope is that more and more people understand the impact their daily choices have on other people around the world. When we know, we can change. Instead of being part of the problem, we can drive the solution.
MaahiRoj, literally translating into Earth Day, Every Day by AnanTaya is an experience of unearthing the planet’s potential for sustainability in collaboration with like-minded designers and artisans from across the country. With a string of events that include interactive workshops, inspiring talks, films, heritage walks, water meditations, cultural tours, eco drives and the latest collection of sustainable arts, the festival this year is set to bring together experts from various fields who have considered the planet in their choices.
The 10-day festival, from April 19-29 (11am -10pm), will be held at AnanTaya, The Kanota Courtyard, Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Jaipur. Stay tuned for some more fun activities as we reach out to people to awaken their spirit of conservation.