Drinking Water Week
Got Water? - The City of Evanston invites the community to support National Drinking Water Week 2013, May 5 through May 11, and celebrate water as our most precious natural resource.
Evanston Celebrates National Drinking Water Week 2013
In an age of globalization, we must stop and think about the incredible significance our local waterways has not only on our lives, but on the lives of many others that depend on it. In the reverse, we also must recognize how our local decisions may impact the quality and supply of other water sources abroad. In Evanston, we are incredibly fortunate to border one of the largest sources of surface fresh water in the world. As the second largest Great Lake, Lake Michigan is an invaluable resource that provides Evanston with incredible economic opportunities, increased property values, recreation, diverse biological life, and aesthetics. The way we treat our water today has immense impacts not only for future generations living here, but even for those in the present living in far reaches from our own homes.
The City of Evanston invites the community to support National Drinking Water Week 2013, May 6 through May 12, and celebrate water as our most precious natural resource.
What is National Drinking Water Week?
For more than 30 years, communities across the United States have joined the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in recognizing the essential role that water plays in our daily lives by celebrating National Drinking Water Week. Throughout the week, AWWA and its partners provide information and host activities to highlight how important water is for us all. This year Evanston has chosen the theme “Local Water, Global Impacts” to remind us of how our local choices have larger consequences on a global scale and how problems we face locally are also being felt in a number of cities across the globe.
Throughout the week, the city will sponsor a series of activities for all ages in honor of National Drinking Water Week.
The city is hosting a coloring contest for 3rd grade students to showcase their ideas of how water is important to them. On-line voting of the top coloring projects will occur in April, with the overall winner to be announced at the Evanston City Council meeting on April 22nd. The top voted coloring projects will be displayed at the Main Evanston Public Library from April 24th – May 11th on the 2nd floor landing. Overall winner will receive a four pack of Evanston Beach Tokens for the 2012 summer.
Mixed Media / Photography Contest
In early March, 6th-8th graders will be invited to part take in a mixed media contest that embodies the theme of local water and global impacts. The theme may touch upon ways that our local water ways impact those abroad, or may capture a way in which you reduce water use, promote local tap water, or honor our local water resources. All submissions must include at least one original photograph and the use of digital media. Pieces may either be submitted electronically or in hard copy, but should fit on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. Online voting will commence in April and prizes may include Evanston beach pass tokens, receiving recognition from the City Council, and a chance for the winners’ pieces to be displayed at Evanston Public Library.
Sunday, May 5th, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Evanston Ecology Center
Explore water in a different way! Join us for a paddle as we enjoy the North Shore Channel (canal) at dusk.
Community Center Activities
May 6th -10th, 3:30 – 5:00 pm, Evanston Ecology Center
Celebrate National Drinking Water Week with a splash! Join Ecology Center staff for fun after-school activities all week!
Rain Barrel Workshop
Wednesday, May 8th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Water becomes an important resource as we approach the warm, dry months of summer – how can we better use and conserve it? Collecting rain water for use in the dry months is an ancient practice that is still practical today.
Water Sports Events
May 6th, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Chandler-Newberg Center
May 8th, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Chandler-Newberg Center
The Chandler-Newberger Center will be hosting two “water sports” events in honor of National Drinking Water Week.
Drinking Water Trivia Contest
May 6th, 10:00 – 1:00 pm, Levy Senior Center
May 8th, 11:00 – 2:00 pm, Levy Senior Center
Join the Levy Senior Center and Greg Simetz from Right At Home for a Drinking Water Trivia contest.
Liquid Assets - Film Screening
Tuesday, May 7th 7:00 pm, Main Evanston Public Library
Saturday, May 11th 1:00 pm, Levy Senior Center
Join us for a documentary about the story of our water infrastructure, which provides a critical public health function and are essential for economic development and growth.
High School Student Activity
High School students living in Evanston are invited to part take in a number of contests that embody the theme of water week—how our local water choices may have impacts on a larger scale and how local problems we face with our water ways and infrastructure are being grappled with on all across the globe. Prizes for winners may include beach pass tokens, recognition by the City Council, and a cahance for work to be shared or displayed publicly. Additional details will be sent to Evanston High Schools in March and will also be available online at www.cityofevanston.org/waterweek.
- Mixed Media / Photography Contest – All submissions must include at least one original photograph and the use of digital media. Pieces may either be submitted electronically or in hard copy, but should fit on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.
- Drawing and Painting Contest – All submissions must be original work and must be scanned or photographed in order to be viewed online and subject to online voting.
- Poetry Contest – Poems may be no longer than 1000 words and will be judged by a committee.
Local Water, Global Impacts – The Facts
The Great Lakes encompass 84% of North America’s surface fresh water supply and approximately 21% of the world’s surface fresh water supply. – US EPA
Evanston’s wastewater travels hundreds of miles via the reversed Chicago River, down the Mississipi River and eventually ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. – CMAP Report
Illinois’ 63-mile stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline provides a coastal home to six million residents, drinking water for seven million residents, tourism that attracts 20 million people to the shore each year, and recreation opportunities that generate an annual revenue of $3.2 billion and supports 33,000 jobs. – Great Lakes Commission
Lake Michigan, like many waterways local and abroad, is plagued with invasive species. One WBEZ report claims that if Asian Carp are introduced to Lake Michigan, the fish would out-compete several prominent native species for food, which would offset our lake’s ecological balance and devastate our $7 billion dollar fishing industry.
Countless cities across the globe are facing the looming challenge of replacing miles and miles of aging water pipes (80 year-old pipes, in Evanston’s case). Leaking pipes means excessive water withdrawals, higher water bills, contamination from corroding pipes, and other problems.
Evanston’s tap water continuously receives high marks for its cleanliness and for following federally and locally mandated water standards. Meanwhile, more and more bottled water companies are being exposed for drawing “mountain” and “glacier” sourced water from local sources, blamed for excessive plastic pollution that threatens aquatic ecosystems, and for not being firmly regulated enough by the FDA as plastic bottles (especially when exposed to heat) can leech harmful chemicals into the bottled water. Not to mention, bottled water can cost up to 400x as much as tap water! Support the tap!