Clean Water for Living


Small Acts Transform the World

Location/Club:  Chatham Ontario Sunrise, 6380
Keywords: Water, Environmental Education
Website Link : Website.


Clean Water for Living is a project of the Rotary Club of Chatham Ontario Sunrise, District 6380. Through this project the club asks everyone to do their part to respect and protect water locally. Rotarians are known for their good work on clean water and sanitation projects in less developed countries. During the 2015-16 Rotary Year, the total number of Rotary International WASH grants was 272, and the total funding for the year was over 19 million. Meanwhile, North American Rotary Clubs expended very little energy and very few dollars on local water issues.  Clean Water for Living asks Rotarians to step up their water commitment: continue clean water and sanitation projects in underdeveloped countries and lead the way in education and demonstration of good water practices locally. The project’s initial emphasis is on the area around the Great Lakes Region of North America. These lakes represents 21% of the world’s surface fresh water by volume and 84% of North America’s surface fresh water. The Great Lakes are threatened by man-made issues such as:

  • green algae blooms:  Algae blooms caused by excess phosphorus have contaminated the lake water for drinking. In August 2014 Toledo, Ohio, USA which supplies municipal water from Lake Erie was forced to issue a “do not drink” advisory for parts of three days due to the toxic algae.
  • chemical pollution:  A single drop of oil can contaminates 1 million drops of water.
  • pharmaceuticals:  Great Lakes’ water samples have shown presence of hormones and antibiotics.
  • micro plastics:  Standard water treatment processes cannot remove the micro beads found in cosmetic products and laundry machine waters. Micro beads and other degraded plastics particles are found in Great Lakes’ water samples.

Many of these issues also affect scores of rivers and smaller bodies of water around the world. Many issues doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference and turn things around.  The Chatham Sunrise Rotary Club takes the positive approach: producing two new Clean Water Champion videos to highlight good water management practices for their website. The first video 4R Nutrient Stewardship  documents how farmers  can protect our water through the use of 4R Nutrient Stewardship system. This system promotes using the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. Following the 4Rs can help increase yields and profitability while protecting the environment and improving sustainability.

The second video documents how low impact urban design can protect water in urban areas. This Protecting Water In Urban Areas video demonstrates the creation and use of bio retention areas to collect, filter and slowly release roof and parking lot runoff water.

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” Our rivers and lakes have suffered from our lack of respect and care for many decades. Society thought that our water supplies were infinite and that dilution was the solution for any pollution. We now realize this thinking was wrong. We realize the importance of water in sustaining healthy lives. Now is the time for Rotarians to take the lead in demonstrating good local water practices. Chatham Sunrise Rotary asks you to join our Clean Water for Living movement.