Cal State Fullerton’s United Nations Association chair members spread water usage awareness on the Titan Walk as an extension of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on Tuesday.
Access to clean water and sanitation is goal No. 6 of a project provided by the U.N. in an effort to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by the year 2030,” as per its website. The campaign has 17 goals, addressing issues such as wealth, inequality, environmental conditions, peace and justice.
The United Nations Association on campus has been raising awareness about these movements the past couple weeks. This event targeted water consumption and preservation for fellow Titans.
“Over 2.1 billion people in the world lack access to safe water. What we’re trying to do is raise awareness about water,” said Michael Guzman, global health chair for the United Nations Association at Cal State Fullerton.
Part of the water awareness impact the U.N. wants to have is strengthening the participation of communities on the local level in improving and sanitizing their own water resources. “If we look at our own water use, it’s interesting to see how much water we use daily. We use about 200 to 300 liters of water daily. Showering uses gallons per minute,” Guzman said.
According to UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene team, there are about 2.4 billion individuals who do not have modern sanitation and 663 million who do not have access to modern water sources. Because of these disadvantages, over 800 children die every day from lack of adequate hygiene and access to water.
The event follows the Nov. 6 midterm elections where 50.7 percent of Californians voted no in a narrow rejection of Proposition 3, a state measure that would allocate nearly $8.9 billion to fund water and environment-sustainability projects. In California, there is still officially a drought with 93 percent of state residents affected, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System’s website.
Efforts have been made in California to purify and utilize different sources of water, such as desalination plants for salt water. The Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County has the largest and most energy-efficient desalination plant in the nation, but faces controversy due to its expensive cost, increased prices of water and environmental impact to marine life.
On the global level, still more than 40 percent of the population faces water scarcity, but by 2030 the U.N. hopes to “achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.”
This is a goal shared by the United Nations Association on campus, which hopes that students can do their part in raising awareness about local and personal water conservation.
“Never mistake that people can make a difference. I think at the end of the day we shouldn’t take away our own potential power and our own drive to make a change,” Guzman said. “Our global impact happens locally. It’s at a local grassroots level that people start to get involved, learn more and can make a difference.”