Today is World Water Day!

Written by Plant With Purpose on March 22, 2010 in General

Today, March 22nd, is International World Water Day, and the United Nations Environment Program is again asking governments, policy makers, businesses, and individuals around the world to address the global issues and needs related to water.

UN-Water is dedicating World Water Day 2010 to the theme of water quality, reflecting the importance of water quality alongside quantity in water management. The World Water Day 2010 campaign is designed to:

  • Raise awareness about sustaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being through addressing the increasing water quality challenges in water
  • Raise the profile of water quality by encouraging governments, organizations, communities, and individuals around the world to actively engage in proactively addressing water quality e.g. in pollution prevention, clean up and restoration.*

Whether it be water scarcity, quality, or management, Plant With Purpose pledges to continue to address the water issues of the communities where we work. Currently there are many components to Plant With Purpose’s programs that address sanitation, management, and restoration of water supplies. Some of these include latrines, micro-watershed restoration, soil erosion barriers, and cisterns.

Today on World Water Day I want to focus on Plant With Purpose’s use of cisterns to provide water security to rural families. A lot of the time we only think of the ‘global water crisis’ in respect to the lack of

H2O. But water scarcity is only part of the problem for subsistence level farmers. During rainy seasons, an abundance of water can cause flooding and soil runoff which quickly dissipates, leaving little for the upcoming dry season. Plant With Purpose uses rainwater cisterns to combat the issues related to dramatic seasonal climate variations. Here are some of the benefits that rainwater cisterns bring:

· Cisterns collect water for family home use, providing a steady, reliable, and convenient water source where there once was none. A 4,700 gallon cistern can provide water for 10 families

· During periods of intense rainfall, water falling on the roofs of homes is a culprit in contributing to hillside erosion. Collecting this rainwater in cisterns helps to mitigate runoff, preserving hillside soil from being swept downward into local streams.

· Cisterns provide both the means and incentive for reforestation, as they are the main source of water for tree nurseries in the community. Seedlings grown in these nurseries and replanted along deforested hillsides provide the ideal solution to moderating runoff, restoring fertility to the soil and preventing flooding. One cistern can provide water for about 2,000 seedlings per year in a family tree nursery.

Helping families construct and utilize rainwater cisterns is just one of the many projects that is enabling rural farmers to conserve and manage their water resources.

*Information gathered from UN World Water Day webpage


Corbyn Small serves as Plant With Purpose’s Outreach Coordinator. He cultivates relationships with donors, churches, artists and musicians to generate interest and enthusiasm for Plant With Purpose’s life-changing programs.

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