World Water Week was marked in Portland on Sunday, March 27th by the third annual Walk For Water PDX. The event held at the World Trade Center was a demonstration of the distance many women and children world wide must walk for water each day, over 3 miles. Participants donated $20 for the opportunity to walk, some carrying a heavy bucket filled with water.
For the second year in a row Agua Pura Para El Pueblo had an information table at the event. This year we featured our programs teaching water testing and simple water purification techniques. Despite the cold rainy day, many participants visited our table to learn more about our work. By using hot water we were able to demonstrate the use of the Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI) and how it can help families make their drinking water safe. The wax inside the indicator melts at a water temperature below boiling but above the temperature needed to pasteurize water and kill dangerous bacteria, thus saving cooking time and fuel. WAPI’s are especially effective with Solar Reflector stoves, allowing women to cook meals without using an open fire.
We also demonstrated simple water testing procedures using supplies from our Portable Microbiology Laboratories, (PML). We incubated water samples from several area water sources including some that are contaminated, and showed the results. It was easy for people to see the contamination and to understand how the testing works. In our workshops overseas we have people test their own drinking water and then test it again after pasteurizing it using WAPI’s, so they can see for themselves that their water then is safe.
Besides Agua Pura there were a number of other groups at the walk making their own presentations. Agua Pura was able make contact with a some of them and share our information. One of our goals is to help other organizations learn techniques of water testing and purification so that they can use them in their own programs. A local Rotary group for example has a project to make WAPI”s to distribute world wide through their organization and we offered to help them with their program . Other groups also expressed interest in working with us.
In all, though it was a cold, blustery, early Spring day, it was a fun event and successful for Agua Pura.