“Water is a Human Right”: An Interview with George McGraw [PART 1]

Thanks to the joint efforts of Simon A. Davis, President and CEO of Falcon Waterfree Technologies, and Andrea Chase, Falcon’s Marketing Director and current chair of the Los Angeles B Corp Community, our company is a proud B Corp. As such, we help the planet and everyone on it thrive. In today’s blog post, we feature an interview with George McGraw, Founder and Executive Director of DIGDEEP, our long lasting partner in helping to build a local sustainable community.

DIGDEEP defends water as a human right. Why did you approach our current water crisis this way?

Human rights remind us that it’s the people – not the solutions themselves – that matter.

When we treat life without water as “a problem to be solved” and we don’t first consider the needs of the people we’re serving, projects fail… and they fail at a high rate. Experience has proven that successful water projects are led by the communities they serve.

It’s also important to look beyond water itself. Water affects a wide range of things like education, health and gender equity. When we treat water as a human right, we consider all these factors at once, because we consider the whole person.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-3-01-57-pmWhat do you think should be the core values we teach the next generation to help end the global water crisis?

I think the core value is gratitude. We as Americans – especially young Americans – tend to take water for granted. We use more than 100 gallons of water per person per day… more than any other developed country, and we barely even think about it.

In other places (including some places in the US) where people struggle every day to get enough clean water to survive, they are grateful for their water. That gratitude, it’s not just an emotion, it’s an attitude that defines the way they treat their water. They protect their resources and make every drop count.

If we can learn some gratitude for this incredible resource – I mean a real feeling of care and thankfulness every time we turn on a tap – we’ll be more resilient in the face of future water shortages.

 Tell us a bit more about the #4Liters Challenge. When does it start? And How can we participate?

We launched the #4liters Challenge in 2012 as an experiment.

DIGDEEP is an American organization, and sometimes it’s hard for Americans to serve other communities effectively because we take water for granted. While we use so much, many of the people we serve get by on just a gallon (4 liters) of water a day. That’s the minimum amount of clean water you need to survive.

So we thought, “what would it be like to walk for ONE day in their shoes? What would we learn? What would our donors learn? How would it change the way we behave… the way we work together?”

Every October become from all over take one day – just 24 hours – and try the #4Liters Challenge. So far, more than 5,000 young people from all over the world have done it, sharing their challenges with pictures, tweets and videos online.

This year we’ve invited 12 incredible YouTube celebrities to take the Challenge. Each of them is putting their own spin on it – lifestyle, fashion, beauty, cooking and DIY. YouTube Creators tell the stories of their daily lives so brilliantly – I think we’ll learn a lot from them!

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Read Part 2 of this Interview Here 

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