World Water Day 2023: Be the Change You Wish to See
How Epic Cleantec is accelerating the advancement of water
Water plays a central role in our daily lives. We need water to grow and prepare the food we eat. We rely on water for most basic hygiene and sanitation needs. And we utilize it to power industry, from apparel and construction to the datacenters and semiconductors that run the technology you are using to read this. In fact, humans are made up of up to 60% of water and need to drink 2.2-3 liters (or 0.58-.79 gallons) of water per day just to sustain life.
Yet in a world where we know that water equals life and water very literally touches everything, it is staggering that globally 2.2 billion (1 in 4) people lack access to clean and reliable drinking water, and almost half the global population (3.6 billion people) does not have access to safe sanitation.
Water is a precious resource, and we urgently need to improve water management both from an efficiency and an equity standpoint. Global water demand is projected to increase by 55% by 2050 in large part due to growing population and the accompanying growth that will be required across sectors.
There is no doubt that we collectively need to take action to protect our dwindling freshwater resources, and World Water Day is helping to shed light on what progress can be made.
What Is World Water Day?
World Water Day (celebrated yearly on March 22) is a global initiative from the United Nations to accelerate change needed to solve the water and sanitation crisis. It coincides with the UN 2023 Water Conference happening March 22-24 in New York where national governments and stakeholders from across all levels of society will come together to commit to collective action. Epic Cleantec is proud to have been invited to participate in this historic gathering that will help formulate a bold water action agenda.
This World Water Day, we are tasked with “being the change we wish to see” in the world. It begins with a story of a hummingbird that originated with the Quechua people in Peru. The story goes that one day a fire broke out in the forest. All the animals fled for their lives, watching from afar in terror and sadness as the blaze engulfed their tree-filled home.
Yet high above their heads, a hummingbird was flying back and forth to the fire, over and over again. The bigger animals asked the hummingbird what she was doing.
“I am flying to the lake to get water to help put out the fire.”
The animals laughed at her and said, “You can’t put out this fire!”
The hummingbird replied, “I’m doing what I can.”
The hummingbird, though small, was doing its part to solve the problem, one drop at a time. She embodied the change she wanted to see in the world. You can be a hummingbird, too. The actions you take, no matter how small they may seem, will help solve our water crisis.
How Epic is Making a Difference
Our work at Epic Cleantec is helping to accelerate the adoption of sustainable water infrastructure and resilient building design practices that focus on reusing water daily. We envision a future where access to clean water and reliable sanitation is a fixture in every urban and rural community around the world.
The technology solution we’ve designed and solutions we’ve deployed help buildings reuse up to 95% of their wastewater. Water use in commercial and institutional facilities, such as office buildings and hospitals, accounts for 17% of publicly supplied water use in the U.S., yet very few buildings actually reuse this water.
We want to change that.
Our commitment to water has never been greater and so, on this World Water Day, our team is sharing how they take steps in their daily lives- no matter how small- to help conserve water to be the change they want to see in the world.
“As omnipresent as water is in our lives, we as a society know very little about how our water and wastewater systems work. I am committed to increasing my own advocacy work with elected officials and policy makers, ensuring that water remains at the top of the agenda.” – Aaron Tartakovsky, Co-Founder + CEO
“I was shocked to learn that it takes ~1,800 gal of water to produce 1 lb. of beef. Coupled with the embodied carbon, that’s why in my household, we ‘hold the beef.’” – Eric Hough, Chief Commercial Officer
“I have replaced my landscape with xeriscape and drought-tolerant species that are native to my area. I also look to buy products that are made responsibly and require less water to produce.” – Chelsea Wolff, Director of Marketing
“We reduce water at home by taking shorter showers, selecting native plants that require less irrigation, and choosing local goods and healthy foods for reduced embodied water and energy.” – Megan Thomas, VP of Operations
“I shop second hand stores and donate old clothes. I encourage others to take time to understand where their water is coming from – awareness leads to value!” – Lauren Frazier, Applications Engineer
“There is marginal difference between using water and wasting water. That’s why our family talks about water conservation in our lives and when we visit other places.” – Richard Ross, Director of Engineering
“If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down!” – Yocelyn Villa, Soil Program Manager
“Knowing that the average family can waste up to 180 gallons per week, as a family we have installed low flow shower heads, repaired leaks, and only run the dishwasher when it’s full. By doing so, we have reduced our water footprint by 30% equating to 2,880 gallons in water savings annually.” – Ryan Pulley, Director of Water Reuse Operations
“With only two of us in the house we don’t use the dishwasher and do dishes by hand. We can then use the water for our house plants or to flush the toilet. It doesn’t take much effort to use a gallon more than once.” – John Garn, Director of Winery and Brewery Markets
“We can save water by making a few simple changes in our daily lives and we can save water by designing better systems. At Epic, we do it all.” – Igor Tartakovsky, Co-Founder + Chief Engineer
We encourage you to make small steps in conserving (and reusing) water to be part of the solution to this growing global issue. If you’d like to speak to us about a project you think would benefit from onsite reuse, please get in touch with us!