To mark World Water Day on Monday, March 22, Irish Water and Green-Schools Ireland are inviting students and their families throughout Ireland to celebrate the value of water by doing their own Mini Walk for Water at home.

World Water Day is an annual event celebrating the value of fresh water in our lives and raising awareness of the 2.2 billion people around the world living without access to safe drinking water.

Water is a critically important resource and while we are fortunate in Ireland to have plentiful supplies of fresh water in our rivers, lakes and underground aquifers, the droughts we have experienced in recent summers have underlined the fact that we cannot take these precious water resources for granted. Irish Water is committed to safeguarding our water for future generations through careful stewardship of our water sources and investment in infrastructure for water and wastewater treatment.

Geoffrey Bourke of Irish Water said: “Irish Water is proud to sponsor the Green-Schools Water Theme as part of our commitment to raising awareness around the value of water in our schools and at home. In previous years we have supported students from participating schools in organising Walk For Water events in locations around the country. This year, however, large scale walks are not feasible due to the essential Government health guidelines around COVID-19, so we are inviting students and their families to join us in celebrating World Water Day by doing their own Mini Walk for Water at home. Some schools may also want to organise one at their school, if appropriate. You can decide your own route and how far you would like to walk – while adhering to COVID-19 travel restrictions and other guidelines.

Cathy Baxter, Green-Schools Manager added: “Taking part in a Mini Walk For Water is a great way of showing what water means to you, while also helping to raise awareness about women and children in countries around the world who walk an average of 6km per day to access water and have to carry loads of up to 20 litres on their way back. Often the water they find is not fit to drink, or simply not there due to drought or abstraction.

Participants can choose to walk whatever distance they want, making sure to stay within their 5km. They can also carry whatever weight is appropriate. In previous years adults carried 6 litres and children carried 3 litres if they could. Some participants also carried books in lieu of water and used water collected in water butts. We are encouraging everyone who takes part to share what they are doing and raise awareness about the value of water by posting photos and videos of their walk on social media with the hashtag #MiniWalk4Water.

Irish Water’s sponsorship of the Green-Schools Water Theme is in its eighth year and in that time over 2,000 schools have attended interactive Water Workshops and Walk for Water events. Last year alone, Green-Schools saved over 600 million litres of water. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and school closures, the Green-Schools programme has successfully moved much of its interaction online for the current school year, with new content and innovative virtual events.

Find out more about World Water Day and the Green-Schools Programme.

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