World Faces 40 Percent Shortage of Water by 2030; #RunningDry Campaign Raises Awareness, Urges Change
SOUTH AFRICA, January 2, 2019. Water advocate and ultra-runner Mina Guli has arrived in South Africa as part of her #RunningDry 100 Marathons in 100 Days campaign to highlight the global water crisis. In an unexpected turn of events and after some ongoing pain in her right leg, Mina walked herself to a doctor’s appointment and subsequent MRI scan, where it was discovered that she has sustained a stress fracture to her right femur. While this would cause most people to sit back and put their feet up, Mina has pledged to continue her #RunningDry campaign at a slightly slower pace of a walk in order to further highlight how critical the global water crisis really is!
“Like with the current water crisis every single drop of water counts, every single step that I take towards finishing this campaign will hopefully help to highlight how dire our water situation worldwide really is – every drop counts, every step counts!” says Mina Guli. “The world is facing a projected 40% shortfall between supply and demand for water by 2030 – just 11 short years from now! If I give up now, it’s almost like giving up on striving towards a solution to this problem and I just can’t do it.” So instead of being out on the roads for roughly 5 hours every day, Mina will now be completing each marathon every day in approximately 9hours – all this whilst still travelling around the world spreading the water message.
Upon arriving in SA, Mina headed straight to Beaufort West after hearing about their dire water situation. “Visiting the town of Beaufort West has been very confronting, to see the effects of what living with no water in the flesh, makes me even more determined to finish my #RunningDry campaign and help change the way we think about water,” explains Mina. “We simply cannot take water for granted, water is life, it is critical, we need to respect and value it!”
Mina started her campaign on November 04, 2018 at the New York Marathon and arrived in Cape Town on 27 December to start marathon number 54 on South African soil. Whilst in SA, Mina will take the time to visit water vulnerable areas, like Beaufort West that has already run out of water, as well as meeting with local water heroes who are doing what they can to solve the looming water crisis!
#RunningDry has already seen Mina running through England, France, Italy, Uzbekistan and the Aral Sea, India, Hong Kong, China, Dubai, Jordan, Israel, Palestine and Lesotho. On leaving South Africa on January 09, Mina will run through Australia, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico, before she completes the expedition by running across the United States to finish her 100th marathon in New York City on February 11, 2019.
“My marathons are a call to the world to join together to save water,” explains Mina. “The water we need to live, to survive, is running out. We’re calling this #RunningDry because we need to bring home the severity of the crisis we are facing. It is for this reason that I have chosen to do the unthinkable: running, and now walking, 100 marathons in 100 days around the world to show what a 100% commitment to water looks like. We can all help solve the world’s water crisis. Each one of us is able to make a difference.”
Mina, a 48-year old Australian who is based in Hong Kong, is no stranger to long runs. The #RunningDry Expedition follows the 2016 7 Deserts campaign and the 6 River Run in 2017, which saw Mina complete the equivalent of 40 marathons in 40 days down six of the world’s great rivers. Mina aims to create a global community of water savers and change the way we use and think about water. People can follow her journey on social media where she’ll be documenting the entire expedition.
Throughout her runs, Mina and the #RunningDry team will meet with some of the people most affected by the global water crisis as well as with companies, organizations and people who are innovating to solve it.
“As a society, we hold the power,” says Mina. “With that power we need to encourage companies and governments to make a real change in the way we not only use, but also view our precious and incredibly scarce water supply.”
“This crisis will unfold in a series of ‘choke point’ locations around the world, created by a confluence of population pressure, irrigation agriculture and climate change,” explains Mina. “If unchecked, it will greatly exacerbate the frequency of famine, population displacement and armed conflict. The World Economic Forum ranks water crises among the top global societal risks in terms of impact.
“The impacts of these choke points will be felt globally through food and commodity supply chains, as well as security threats. Conversely, addressing this crisis head-on presents a major opportunity to promote peace in unstable regions, to manage corporate risk in key commodity supply chains, and avert humanitarian crises.”
To follow Mina’s journey and find out how you can make a real difference in solving our water crisis visit:
Mina and #RunningDry are proudly supported by Colgate and Reebok, as well as the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme. Other supporting organizations include the Global Water Partnership and the UN Development Programme.
ABOUT MINA GULI
The founder and CEO of Thirst, Mina Guli is a global leader, entrepreneur and adventurer passionate and committed to making a difference in the world. Following a 15-year career as a world leader in climate change that started with law, but progressed quickly to the World Bank and to co-founding boutique investment firm Peony Capital, Mina established Thirst – a non-profit that is solving the water crisis by changing the way we think about water.
To highlight the global water crisis, in 2016 Mina completed the 7 Deserts Run -- running the equivalent of 40 marathons across 7 deserts on 7 continents in 7 weeks. A self-confessed "non-runner", Mina told the stories of some of those affected by the crisis during the run. The success of the expedition encouraged Mina to undertake the 6 River Run in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6. She ran 40 marathons in 40 days down 6 of the world’s great rivers on 6 continents. With media coverage around the world, including on CNN, BBC, ITV, ABC and CCTV, Mina’s messages about water have reached more than 4 billion people, inspiring a generation of water heroes.
Mina has been recognised for her leadership: she has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, one of Australia’s most influential women, and by Fortune Magazine in 2016 alongside Angela Merkel, Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook and the Pope as one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world.
The #RunningDry campaign is organized by Thirst, an international not-for-profit organization focused on educating and promoting action on and solutions to the water crisis. Since its launch in 2012, Thirst has educated more than 2 million students in China, has had more than 600,000 participants in its innovation competitions and now works with more than 1000 qualified volunteers and has the support of the Chinese Government.
Thirst founder and CEO Mina Guli will undertake the #RunningDry campaign.