In 1993, the United Nations designated March 22 as World Water Day. Almost 25 years later, efforts to tackle difficult global water problems continue. This year’s theme is “why waste water?” Globally, the vast majority of wastewater—from homes and communities—flows back to the environment untreated or reused, contributing to contaminated drinking water while losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. The UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 aims to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
As part of the celebration of World Water Day, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) welcomed 35 elementary school students from the Capitol Hill Montessori School in Washington, DC. Jeffrey Sejour of International Action, which is working to chlorinate drinking water in Haiti, spoke with the students about water and wastewater problems that continue to plague Haitians. The students also video-conferenced with Andrew Coco of Pure Water for the World from their water quality laboratory in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The event concluded with a hands-on water chemistry experiment to measure the presence of residual chlorine in water to see which samples were disinfected and thus safe to drink. In recognition of their ongoing efforts to provide safe drinking water, ACC’s Chlorine Chemistry Division donated $5,000 to International Action on behalf of the students of Capitol Hill Montessori School.