Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources from Sharon Kleyne Hour

Project WET and the Global Importance of Water

September 21, 2009


Sharon welcomed the listeners and talked about the importance of water in life and life in water. She said that it is imperative for everyone to realize the importance of water, to drink plenty of water and to carry water with them if they are unsure of a water source. Dehydration, or lack of water, is out of control in our world and causes or contributes to ailments from allergies to obesity.

Guest: Dennis Nelson

Dennis Nelson, (Bozeman, MT), Founder of Project WET, worldwide water education program. "Water Education and the Communities of the World."

Dennis Nelson is the Founder of Project WET, whose purpose is to educate the world - with emphasis on children - about the importance of water.

Mr. Nelson has found that too often, water is ignored because it is difficult for entrepreneurs to exploit for profit. These are very complex issues and the common belief has been that the public is incapable of understanding them, and also don't care. The challenge for Mr. Nelson had been to develop programs to make these issues understandable, interesting and important. Their educational material is now published in 42 countries.

The #1 concept that they teach is that water is life. They have developed educational material on water quality, ground water and watersheds.

Sharon mentioned the importance of the water in the air and health problems caused by dehydration as a result of indoor conditions such as forced-air heating and cooling and insulated walls and windows.

The water on Earth today, Mr. Nelson observed, is the same water that's been here since the beginning of time. It is a finite and non-renewable commodity, but it is also fairly readily recyclable if managed properly.

Water borne diseases are still the leading cause of death in the world. The solution is to drink plenty of water and to drink safe water. Healthy water makes healthy people and every drop counts.

Because of Project WET, many scientists have been taking up the cause of education of children on the importance of water. Project WET now conducts 1,100 courses per year for educators around the world. They just finished up a project in Africa that reached one million students (teaching about sanitation, water handling, development of community wells and working with UN and other agencies).

There was considerable discussion of the situation in California where water is being diverted from extremely important and productive farms in the San Joaquin Valley for the benefit of an endangered smelt. Sharon suggested that this will drive food prices up and deplete the aquifers from which many people drink, that are fed by irrigation.

Mr. Nelson suggested that knowing what to do is one thing, getting people to do it is another and above all, you should just present the information, not tell people how to think.

Knowledge empowers.


Categories:Ecology and the environment, International health organizations, water and sanitation, 2009