water conservation

100 Water Heroes: Autumn Peltier


Environmental Advocate

Autumn Peltier is a 13-year-old Eagle Clan Anishnaabekwe from Wikwemikong Unceded Territory in Northern Ontario. Autumn has been fiercely advocating for water conservation since she was just 8-years-old and has become a renowned environmental activist throughout the world.

Her beginning in water advocacy was inspired by her aunt, Josephine Mandamin, who raised awareness surrounding water conservation and indigenous water rights by walking the shores of the five Great Lakes. Autumn began her water journey by speaking at community events about the absolute necessity of conserving Canada’s water.

In 2015, Autumn attended the Children's Climate Conference in Sweden, and in 2017 became the only Canadian nominated for the Children's International Peace Prize. One of Autumn’s most publicised encounters occurred in 2016, where she met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Assembly of First Nations' annual winter meeting, and told him about her grave concerns surrounding Canada’s water situation.

Autumn was also recently invited to speak at the launch of the UN's International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, where she acted as the ‘representative of civil society.’’

Autumn is one of our #100WaterHeroes for her fierce water advocacy efforts and her focus on ensuring safe drinking water for Indigenous communities in Canada.

Anishinabek Nation Twitter: @AnishNation

100 Water Heroes: Mary Conley Eggert


Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer at Global Water Works

Mary Conley Eggert is the Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Global Water Works, an organisation that “showcases the technology, experts and networks that are helping water work for the planet, people and profit.”

Mary joined Global Water Works in 2015, and has since been integral in their development as “integrated marketing professionals.” Working at the convergence of big data, finance and water, Global Water Works seek to promote the adoption of smart water technologies.

Mary traces her passion for water conservation back to when she was 12-years-old and began delivering speeches on water pollution in Watertown, Wisconsin. Mary officially began her career in water advocacy after WEFTEC 2015, where she realised the immensity of the global water crisis.

Mary is one of our #100WaterHeroes for working towards global water security through the development and promotion of smart water technologies.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/maryconleyeggert

Twitter: @MaryEggert 

100 Water Heroes: Dr. Ayman Rabi

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Executive Director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group

Dr. Ayman Rabi is the Executive Director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), an NGO that is “working to improve access to water and sanitation services, and to monitor pollution and climate change in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

PHG was founded in 1987 with the goal to protect and conserve water and environmental resources, and is now the largest NGO in Palestine. In addition to their water conservation efforts, PHG aims to ensure widespread access to clean, safe water and WASH facilities. Because of the ever-worsening water crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as neglected water-related infrastructure, PHG proceeded by “carrying out development work and promoting the more effective and efficient use and reuse of existing water resources.”

Prior to his involvement with PHG, Ayman obtained an MSc and PhD in Water Resources Engineering, as well as an MBA in Business Administration. Ayman has over 25 years of experience in water and environmental-related fields. He has contributed to numerous local and international research endeavours surrounding water and the environment.

Ayman is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his leadership of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, and for his contributions to water and environment-related research.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/ayman-rabi-6873294

100 Water Heroes: Lana Mazahreh


Conservation Program Developer at WWF Regional Office for Africa

Lana Mazahreh is the Conservation Program Developer at WWF Regional Office for Africa, where they seek to “provide innovative solutions to conserve species and their habitats and maintain key ecological services.” Prior to her work with WWF, Lana has been immersed in projects related to the environment, economic development, employment, education and social care.

Lana grew up in Jordan, where she experienced complete water scarcity first-hand, and had to adopt innovative solutions to conserving water from an early age. Her involvement in water-saving projects has continued with as she worked closely with the World Wide Fund for Nature on South Africa’s water crisis.

Lana holds an MBA degree from INSEAD Business School, as well as a BSc Degree in Business Information Systems. She is well-known for her TED talk entitled 3 Thoughtful Ways to Conserve Water, in which she reflects on what we can learn from water-scarce countries who are dealing with what is soon becoming a global issue.

Reflecting on her childhood in water-poor Jordan, Lana notes:

I grew up in Jordan, a water-poor country that has experienced absolute water scarcity since 1973. And still, in 2017, only 10 countries in the world have less water than Jordan. So dealing with a lack of water is quite ingrained in my soul. As soon as I was old enough to learn how to write my name, I also learned that I need to conserve water. My parents would constantly remind my siblings and I to close the tap when we brushed our teeth. We used to fill balloons with flour instead of water when we played.

Lana is one of our #100WaterHeroes for reminding us that we can all make small, water-saving changes to ensure that every drop counts.

Twitter: @MazahrehLana

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/lana-mazahreh-لانا-مزاهره-78154919

100 Water Heroes: Jianming Liu


Jianming Liu is a nine-year-old boy from Shanghai who loves sports and doing what he can to better his community. He takes part in a range of sporting activities, such as running, hiking and little iron man. In addition to his sporting ability, Jianming has been involved in a number of volunteer initiatives, such as taking care of and playing with autistic children, raising money for charity and contributing to charity exhibitions.

Jianming recently heard about #RunningDry and has since been inspired to learn more about invisible water and conserves water wherever possible.

In his new-found passion for water conservation, Jianming has said that he makes sure to turn off the faucet when brushing his teeth, chooses hand sanitiser over soap and water, and reuses household grey water. He has also been careful to save paper, because he is aware of how much water goes into everything we consume

Jianming is one of our #100WaterHeroes for passionately serving his community and doing whatever he can to make sure every drop counts!

100 Water Heroes: Aabid Surti


Founder of the Drop Dead Foundation

Aabid Surti is the Founder of the one-man NGO, Drop Dead Foundation (DDF), which fixes leaking taps in residential houses in Mumbai, free of charge.

He read a newspaper article in 2007 that explained that a tap that dripped once every second would lead to the waste of over 1000 litres of water a month. When he became aware of the severity of the looming global water crisis, he was incentivised to found Drop Dead, which uses the tagline, “save every drop, or drop dead.” He hired a plumber, and together, they visit houses to replace the gasket on leaking faucets.

Before he added environmentalist to his list of achievements, Aabid was already a prolific National award-winning author of over 80 books, as well as a screenwriter, cartoonist and artist. Since starting his water-saving initiatives, he was been nominated for the CNN-IBN CJ ‘Be The Change’ Award in 2010, organised the DDF short film competition to raise awareness on water conservation and had his project featured on multiple national and international media platforms.

Aabid is one of our #100waterheroes for taking the unwavering commitment to making water-saving changes in his own community, one tap at a time.

Website: http://aabidsurti.in/#

100 Water Heroes: Vedant Goel & Yusuf Soni

Vedant Goel

Vedant Goel

Founders of Ineedsai

Vedant Goel and Yusuf Soni are IT professionals and entrepreneurs from Pune, who met at university and have been doing impactful conservation work ever since. In 2012, they collaborated to launch Ineedsai, a social organisation that “aim[s] to teach the young minds about the importance of water and sustainable use of resources.”

In addition to providing education to youth who are unable to afford it, Ineedsai has also led blood drives and traffic awareness programmes. Regarding environmental conservation projects, Vedant and Yusuf stress the importance of educating young people on the necessity of sustainable living:

Water is one of the most essential necessities of life and yet, it is becoming an increasingly scarce resource, one that needs careful planning and management. We must learn to value every drop, even if we are not directly affected by the water shortage. The state of things inspired my friend, Yusuf Soni, and I to do something about it, and who better to start with than school children? After all, they are the future keepers of our natural resources.

(Goel in Youth Ki Awaaz, 2016)

Yusuf Soni

Yusuf Soni

Vedant and Yusuf travel to schools throughout Maharashtra to educate students on water conservation. One of their initiatives saw over 10 000 students and teachers from various schools using the leftover water from their water bottles to water plants on their campus. Collecting water at the end of the day may seem simple, but it is important in that it “will not only provide an alternate way for water conservation but also help kids understand the concept of sustainable development and use of alternatives” (Sarma, 2016)

Vedant and Yusuf have also been recognised in the respected Limca Book of Records, for having gathered 5011 children to participate in My Teeth – Better Teeth, Better Health, a campaign focused on educating young people about dental hygiene.

Vedant and Yusuf are our #100WaterHeroes for recognising the importance of educating young people on water conservation and sustainable living.

Vedant Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/vedantgoel

100 Water Heroes: Dr. P.K Mishra


Director of the Indian Association of Soil and Water Conservationists

Dr. P.K Mishra is the Director of the Indian Association of Soil and Water Conservationists (IASWC), an NGO that seeks to “encourage wise land use planning and conservation of soil and water resources so that these basic resources can be utilised to sustain mankind.” Since 1973, IASWC has published the Indian Journal of Soil Conservation, a journal that explores research ranging from degraded land management to agroforestry. Under P.K’s directorship, IASWC has become a respected coalition of “scientists, conservation professionals, administrators and policy makers in assessing the need for soil and water conservation and watershed management.”

Prior to his work with IASWC, P.K graduated from Orissa Orissa University of Agriculture with an M. Tech in Soil and Water Conservation Engineering. He continued on to obtain his PhD in Agricultural Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. In addition to his impressive academic qualifications, P.K has over 30 years experience of field research. He has over 220 publications, including 64 journal publications, 10 books and 39 book chapters.

P.K’s main focus has been drought management and the documentation of indigenous technical knowledge, as well as the development of research watersheds and climate change research initiatives. During his time as the Secretary of Indian Society of Dryland Agriculture (ISDA), P.K organised the “National Symposium on Climate Change and Rainfed Agriculture” in Hyderabad.

P.K is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his work with the Indian Association of Social and Water Conservation, and for dedicating his career to achieving environmental sustainability in India.

Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Pk_Mishra3/info

100 Water Heroes: Dr. Ayyappa Masagi


Managing Director at the Water Literacy Foundation

Dr. Ayyappa Masagi is the Managing Director at the Water Literacy Foundation in India. He is known fondly as ‘Water Warrior’, and has been responsible for transforming water management systems in thirteen states across India. He firmly believes that India - and the world - has enough water for everybody, “provided we use this precious resource judiciously,” and without greed, particularly when it comes to the private industry’s consumption of water (Ramesh, 2017).

Ayyappa has driven the construction of hundreds of lakes and water saving projects, as well as rejuvenated over 1000 dry boreholes. Ayyappa has also been noted in the Limca Book of World records for having built over 700 artificial lakes.

Prior to his work in water conservation, Ayyappa was a Mechanical Engineer for Larsen and Toubro. When reflecting on what inspired his shift to water advocacy, Ayyappa described his experience as a child in a family of impoverished farmers in Gadag, Karnataka:

“In my childhood we faced plenty of water problems. I used to wake up with my mother at 3 am to go and fetch water. This used to happen so often that I took an oath to try and conserve water every day. In fact, throughout my growing years, I thought of ways to conserve water” (In Ramesh, 2017).

Ayyappa’s career is dedicated to making every drop counts, and he ensures that his domestic water use is no different. He has specifically modified his home to be as water wise as possible by installing a rooftop rainwater harvesting system, and collecting grey water in an outside pit to replenish groundwater.

Ayyappa is one of our #100WaterHeroes for dedicating his life to improving India’s water management practices and encouraging people to make every drop count.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/ayyappa-masagi-a49695109

100 Water Heroes: Subash Chandra Reddy


Founder and Director of SMARAN

Subash Chandra Reddy is the Founder and Director of SMARAN, an environmental NGO that seeks to “promote natural resource base livelihoods for poor and rural communities and to protect and manage the environment and natural resources with major emphasis on water.” Subash has committed his life and career to environmentalism, with a particular focus on water conservation.

Under Subash’s leadership, SMARAN has successfully been involved in an array of water conservation programmes, including check dam renovations and rainwater harvesting (RWH) projects. SMARAN operates out of Hyderabad, an area particularly affected by drought, and assists farmers in running successful farms through the use of alternative forms of water collection. SMARAN is also involved in an variety of other community upliftment and water saving projects, such as micro-watershed development, nursery raising and RWH in impoverished areas.

Through his work with SMARAN, Subash aims to rejuvenate drought-stricken Hyderabad by implementing RWH throughout society, allowing the local community to self-sustainably manage their own water.

Subash is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of his focus on creating self-sufficient communities through the incorporation of rainwater harvesting

Twitter: @SubhashRedd9

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/subash-reddy

100 Water Heroes: Helena Fraser


UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Uzbekistan

Helena Fraser is the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Uzbekistan. Helena’s work with the UN in Uzbekistan is informed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they have “designed and are executing different projects to help these communities rise out of poverty and deal with the fact that they're living in the shadow of this environmental catastrophe” (Imamova, 2018).

Helena joined the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in 1997, when she served as a Field Advisor in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her most recent work with OCHA was when she lead their Regional Office for the Syria Crisis in Amman between 2014-2017. For over 20 years, Helena has been involved in OCHA, “primarily working in emergencies” (Imamova, 2018).

Regarding the environmental crises surrounding the Aral Sea and general water scarcity in Uzbekistan, Helena explains the UNDP’s approach:

“We're addressing human dignity. We're addressing challenges around prosperity. We're also addressing possible future challenges around conflict in the community, because of lack of water, because of environmental hazards and so forth.” (in Imamova, 2018)

The demise of the Aral Sea, according to Helena, “is not just a tragedy, as many people say, it is an active hazard unfolding before our eyes” (MacFarquhar, 2018).

Helena is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of her impactful work with the UN, and for her dedication to making the SDGs a reality in Uzbekistan.

Twitter: @HelenaFraserUN

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/helena-fraser-952a8369