Boomer Jerritt via Getty Images
In many parts of Africa and Asia, walking takes on a whole different meaning. That's because many women and children in these developing areas have to walk six kilometres every day to get water for their family. It's not a stroll in the park, or a breezy city walk -- it's a dangerous, hot, painful journey to provide for the needs of their families.
The federal government recently created two marine protected areas in the Pacific region and has committed to increase ocean protection from one per cent to 10 by 2020. But will this be enough? Thinking of the ocean in square kilometres is just skimming the surface. Life thrives throughout the water column, top to bottom.
Beatrice Mutai is only 13, but she knows first-hand that small changes can make a big difference. Until last year, she would wake up before dawn every morning to fetch water from the Ewaso Ng’iro River.
Each year on March 22, UN-Water calls on people everywhere to help tackle the global water crisis. It's a great goal -- but can feel like a pretty tall order. More than 663 million people have no safe water supply close to home. That's way more people than occupy all of North America.
Adam van Koeverden
The truth is, extreme weather events that cause flooding, prolonged drought and contaminated water sources are becoming far more frequent. In 2016, global temperatures reached a record high for the third year in a row, and reports of extreme weather events continued to come in from around the world.
BSIP via Getty Images
Madagascar is famous for its unique wildlife, the cartoon movies that bear its name, and for vanilla. There is also another aspect that sets Madagascar apart: over half of its 22 million inhabitants don't have access to safe drinking water, and 90 per cent don't have access to proper sanitation or a toilet.
Steve Russell via Getty Images
Access to water and toilets is transformative. It opens doors to education, health, nutrition and to a better livelihood. Access to water and toilets offers women and girls so many more opportunities to contribute their fullest to their communities.
The ripple effect of our collective decision to address this discomfort has been felt worldwide. Since that time, we have helped restart the lives of more than 30,000 newcomers. Our unique integration methods are hailed as an international model.
Roberto Machado Noa via Getty Images
Last week's events in Syria speak to a conflict transformed into a humanitarian crisis that has worsened with time. In eastern Aleppo alone, at least 96 children have been killed and 223 others injured. Such circumstances make it increasingly harder to deliver desperately needed humanitarian aid.
Go on and boycott Nestlé. Here's a handy guide to all their products. But realize that despite Nestlé being a bad corporate citizen and the world's biggest bottler of water, boycotting them will not solve the problem. The issue isn't just bottled water, it's that we allow companies to drain our water table for what amounts to free. It's time to disrupt the entire beverage market's business model, which is to extract an ingredient for basically free and sell it for an absurd amount. We need to charge them a rate for that extraction that serves the public interest.
Riccardo Lennart Niels Mayer via Getty Images
Safe drinking water and decent toilets should be basic essentials in every school, everywhere. Unfortunately, it's not the case for millions of children in the world. Take the 500 students at St. John Bosco Gayaza Primary School in Uganda for example. The water source they rely on is an open pool located about one kilometre from their school.
How would you feel if you weren't able to have a sanitary place to go to the bathroom? If you didn't have access to clean, safe, drinking water? For people who do have access to these things it can be hard to understand how lucky we are.
Tim Bradbury via Getty Images
I've witnessed the power that water can bring to a community -- not hydroelectricity, but human empowerment. It happens when a single borehole is drilled deep into the ground, and a pump installed. Clean water becomes a source of hydration, refreshment and strength, freeing people up to do great things.
This is a running program that helps train people through supportive groups and provides a common goal for us to run, for clean water for kids. Water fundraising also makes a lot of sense to me as a runner. Runners are so aware of how much they depend on water, so it seemed like a natural fit.