Thursday, February 26, 2009

Chicago 2016 Olympics Bid: Water!

Water makes it to the big game...

I was just digging through the recently-submitted Chicago bid for the 2016 Olympics and found some very encouraging language on global water:

“Chicago will partner with the Olympic Movement to help address the worldwide fresh water crisis. Chicago 2016’s concept of the Blue-Green Games, which refers to the blue of the fresh water lake and the green of the city’s expansive parklands, features a portfolio of environmental initiatives. These efforts will provide access to fresh water, resources and technology to regions of the world in need, thus making sport more accessible to all.”

Water Positive

“Chicago 2016 intends to create a positive impact on water resources during the Blue-Green Games and will achieve this objective through three main strategies. First, although Chicago is not located in a region where water is a scarce resource, water conservation at all levels is immensely important. CHICOG will reduce the amount of water used in the Village and venues by 20 percent. The plan will focus on storm water collection and reuse and the application of best practices for water management and conservation at venues and the Village.

Second, CHICOG, in conjunction with the Chicago Climate Exchange, will pursue the creation of an innovative Water Markets program to advance water sustainability issues and economic incentives for conservation.

Third, and most ambitious, CHICOG will develop an innovative Water positive program, a global water access initiative to bring clean water to developing communities around the world. In conjunction with NGOs and NOCs, this new program will bring opportunities for the greater pursuit of sport in developing countries and will become a legacy of the Chicago 2016 Games.

Water Positive will:

  • Establish the Water Access through Sport program in international sporting locales to increase clean water access as well as opportunities to actively pursue sports.

  • Achieve a 20 percent water use reduction at the venues and Olympic Village.

  • Incorporate water conservation and water reuse technologies in the venues and Village.

  • Educate spectators and visitors about water conservation and water sustainability during the Games.

The linkages between sports and development challenges are clear and go both ways. Children and athletes need safe water and sanitation to remain healthy and hydrated, and sports can be used to raise awareness of water issues around the world. Kudos to the Chicago 2016 team for recognizing these linkages and acting on them.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Twestival - Where Twitter Meets Safe Water

Q: Does Twitter actually add value to society?

A: Yes.

Regardless of the ongoing debate in my head about whether Twitter does indeed add value to society - who really needs to know when I'm on the john anyhow - the Twitter folks had me from "Hey - we're trying to raise money for safe water projects around the world for charity: water - want to help?"

charity: water rocks. Scott Harrison and his crew are playing to their strengths in promotions, events, celebrities for good causes, and raising a lot of money for high-quality nonprofits like Action Against Hunger, Partners in Health, and Water For People.

The safe drinking water and sanitation challenge is arguably the world's largest public health crisis.

And Tweet. Meet. Give. brings this reality to a whole new set of players in 160 cities, including each of yours. Let's get twittering.