Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Money and Water: Yes, Please.

I'm getting quite annoyed by all the political campaigns and "talk" about the financial crisis. I get it already! Our economy has taken a turn, the Japanese are now buying our debt, and CEO's are rewarded by receiving golden parachutes. In the meantime, families down in Galvenston, TX, still do not have electricity or water. Here we are worried about our 401k's, mutual funds, stocks, etc. and in other places people do not even have food, clean water, or toilet paper to do you know what with!

So let's think about something for a minute. While everyone is getting up in the morning, brushing their teeth, showering, making their coffee, driving to work, blogging, consuming more energy...simple families don't even have access to potable water. Of course, it is not just the Texas area. I hear you...yes, it's been a tough week for Mayor Thomas. But it's been a tough year, perhaps decade, for other areas with "cyclical" droughts.

These so called droughts are what scientists refer to as "hot stains" -- the parts of the Earth now running out of potable water. They include northern China, large areas of Asia and Africa, the Middle East, Australia, the Midwestern United States, and sections of South America and Mexico. While two-fifths of the world now have massive outbreaks to waterborne diseases, the other wealthy nations are finally waking up. It took a while, but some clear indications have opened their eyes. For example:

1. In 2007, Lake Superior, the world's largest freshwater lake, dropped to its lowest level in 80 years.

2. Boomers are frustrated in Florida where many are trying to keep fast-spreading lawns and golf courses green.

3. California has a 20-year supply of freshwater left. New Mexico has only 10.

4. Arizona is already out of water. They are currently importing every drop in the state.

Wake up people! How did we let this happen? The answer is complicated, but what is great to see are new solutions arising to attack the problem. As a market researcher, an observer and one generally interested how many get away with greenwashing, there is one brand that deserves attention.

How do you create a brand out of something that is everywhere?
It is owned by no one own.
It costs nothing to produce.
Practically, nothing to package.
Yet, everyone wants it.

Here is the answer - see video:

Source: UNICEF, American Prospect, June 2008

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