Today’s blog is from Laurie Loftin, program specialist with ACC Water Conservation Office
World Water Day. Hug a Plumber Day. National Coffee Day. These are just a few of the special days set aside for celebration throughout the year.
As I look ahead to the new year, I like to find special occasions that allow me to shine a spotlight on water-related issues. I then see how I can incorporate the observances into the outreach calendar for the ACC Water Conservation Office.
Every year I search online for these dates. In an effort to improve efficiency, I compiled a list of these “holidays” for future reference. If you work with a water agency, are a teacher, or use water, you too may have an interest in this type of information.
I only included celebrations with a direct link to water-related causes or the water industry, even though one may make an argument that water ties into everything. Be sure to check back to this page as you do your planning, as I am sure I missed some dates and will occasionally update the listing. If you know of a date, please share it with me in the comments!
- National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day (1/11): OK, I am starting with a stretch right out of the gate, but I found no other days related to water in January. Whether you find a puddle made of ice or liquid, use this day to remind people of the simple joy one can derive from splashing in water. A video for inspiration
- World Wetlands Day (2/2): This date may be in the shadow of a groundhog, but this is no excuse to wait six more weeks before bringing attention to this important part of our landscape. More than 64% of our wetlands have vanished since 1900, eliminating the home of thousands of species, reducing our protection from floods, and removing a natural filter of pollutants.
- Shower with a Friend Day (2/5): While I admit this day was not created in support of conservation, there is no legal reason I know of not to use this day for the purposes of promoting water efficiency. Just be sure to remind your customers to still make the shower time a quickie!
- Global Day of the Engineer (2/24) & Engineers Week ( the week that includes 2/22): Celebrate the engineers who make our water delivery and collection systems happen. Their innovative designs behind the scenes help to keep our waters flowing to our homes and businesses. Share their accomplishments with your community.
- Day of Unplugging (1st Friday of March): On this day encourage everyone to unplug their gadgetry and reconnect with humans in the flesh. Water agencies can remind people about the connection between energy and water. Turn off the light and you save water. Turn off the water and you save energy.
- National Groundwater Week (2nd week of March): We have 6 quintillion gallons of water stored in the upper 1.2 miles of Earth’s crust, but much of this is contaminated. Just 6% of groundwater is drinkable and renewable within our lifetime. Anyone who depends on groundwater (and that is everyone) should work to raise awareness of its importance.
- World Plumbing Day (3/11): Where would you be without your hot shower in the morning? Plumbing is often taken for granted, but these pipes have become essential to our health and quality of life. Take a moment today to recognize the value of improved sanitation.
- Plant a Flower Day (3/12): Introduce the water cycle to students with the planting of a flower. Put seeds into a newspaper pot or put the seed into a bottle and capture the water cycle.
- Fix-a-Leak Week (3rd week of March): Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide. EPA’s WaterSense encourages you to become a leak detective and search your house, inside and out, to find and repair those pesky leaks that add to your water bill.
- World Water Day (3/22): The United Nations designated March 22 as a day to celebrate water around the world. With an annually changing theme, WWD highlights the many issues surrounding water. “Water and Jobs” is the focus in 2016, followed in 2017 with “Wastewater, ” and then “Nature-based Solutions for Water” in 2018.
- Water Week (week of 4/15): This week was originally designated Clean Water Week by President Nixon in 1973. Today, water sector organizations gather in Washington, DC during this week to advocate for national policies to advance clean and safe waters. Plan an event and engage your community in advocacy for water.
- Earth Day (4/22): An easy day to raise awareness of all the issues surrounding water on our Earth. Remember, there is no Green without Blue (Water) and Yellow (Sun).
- Hug a Plumber Day (4/25): Take a moment to thank a plumber for helping to maintain the clean flow of water and the removal of dirty water from your home. While you are passing out hugs, septic haulers could use a few, too!
- Save the Frogs Day (last Saturday of April): Did you know tadpoles filter our drinking water? Frogs are regarded as great bioindicators and their numbers are shrinking. Take some time to celebrate and protect our amphibian friends.
- Firefighters’ Day (5/4): Make this day of recognition two-pronged: 1) Celebrate the dedication of people who risk their lives to save those threatened by fires, and 2) remind people about how important our water delivery system is for extinguishing these potentially deadly blazes.
- Water Professional Appreciation Day (1st Monday in May): Georgia set aside a day to bring
recognition to the thousands of dedicated professionals who work in the water industry. These unsung heroes protect and manage our resources to improve our economy, environment, health, and quality of life.
- Drinking Water Week (1st full week in May): Brought to us by American Water Works Association, the week highlights the importance of tap water in our everyday lives and the need to reinvest in our water infrastructure. Celebrate with tours of your drinking water treatment plant.
- Mother Ocean Day (5/10): Take this day to celebrate the beauty and wonder of the ocean. Home to an estimated one-quarter of all Earth’s species, it is no surprise we celebrate the ocean near Mother’s Day.
- Infrastructure Week (3rd full week in May): Join your efforts with others across the country to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting all Americans. Imagine the state our economy, environment, and health would be in without the infrastructure that supplies us with clean water.
- Hole in My Bucket Day (5/30): While this holiday is really focused on the children’s song “There’s a Hole in My Bucket,” use this day as an opportunity to talk about water conservation. How much water would the bucket lose with one drip per minute? Per second? Do a relay with a leaky bucket and one that doesn’t leak. Which home would lose less water: one with a leak or without?
- Water a Flower Day (5/30): This day reminds people to water their flower(s), but you can also use it as a day to remind people to get their sprinkler systems ready for the summer months by checking for leaks and installing rain sensors.
- National Rivers Month: Use this month to organize or join a river cleanup.
- World Oceans Day (6/8): With themes changing annually, the day’s purpose remains the same: take action to protect gives our home its nickname, The Blue Planet.
- World Meat Free Day (6/15): A cheeseburger requires almost 700 gallons of water to produce! Reduce your water footprint by borrowing a page from a vegetarian cookbook and go meatless this one day of the year. If you survive it, maybe you could try it again!
- Canoe Day (6/26): Do you know where your drinking water comes from? Does it come from a river? Get up close and personal with your drinking supply by taking a canoe or kayak trip down the waterway that eventually may make its way to your house.
- International Mud Day (6/29): You can’t make mud without water! Get closer to the Earth and water by going outside and making mud cakes, taking a mud bath, or create an incredible mud sculpture. Just get dirty!
- Lake Appreciation Month: As you get out on the lakes to cool down this summer, take time to appreciate this body of water. Grab a water monitoring kit and help track the water quality trends in your local lake or reservoir.
- Smart Irrigation Month: You have a whole month to educate your community about the many opportunities to efficiently use water outdoors. Host workshops, share how-to videos on your website, and post tips on social media and in bill stuffers.
- National Water Quality Month: Share posts on social media about how to keep the water in your area clean. Proper disposal of medications and pet wastes are two specific topics that come to mind.
- Watermelon Day (8/3): With a water content of 90%, watermelons are appropriately named. Our own bodies are made up of 60-70% of water. We may not be as juicy as a watermelon, but we need water in us just as much as this delicious snack. Water is life.
- National Toilet Paper Day (8/26): Use this day to educate the community about the 4 P’s of Flushing. Only Pee, Poo, Paper (that’s toilet paper!), and Puke go down the potty.
- World Water Week (last week in August): Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, it is a time for people to share the latest findings and developments as they relate to water.
- Imagine a Day Without Water: Help your community realize how water is essential, invaluable, and worthy of investment by imagining a day without water. (Visit the link to sign up for the official 2016 date.)
- Water Monitoring Day (9/18): Actively protect water resources by conducting basic monitoring of water bodies in your area. Order test kits and share your data with the world.
- Pollution Prevention Week (begins 3rd Monday): You see it happen. Trash blows out of the back of a pick up truck. A plastic bag floats down the street. All of this litter has the potential to land in our water supply. Prevent pollution to protect our waters.
- National Drink Beer Day (9/28): Imagine a world without water. That would mean there is no beer. This beverage requires 28 gallons of water to produce 12 fluid ounces of beer.
- National Coffee Day (9/29): You wake up the day after National Drink Beer Day. Again, imagine a world without water. That world would mean there is NO COFFEE this morning. One cup of coffee requires 37 gallons of water to produce it. We need water.
- Shower Better Month: In conjunction with Energy Action Month, the EPA’s WaterSense declared October the month to shower better. Replace a showerhead with a WaterSense labeled model and you can cut your water use in half. Less water means less need for the water heater, thus saving energy in the process A win-win worth celebrating!
- Global Handwashing Day (10/15): This simple act has the power to save lives and you can’t do it without clean water. Promote hand-washing with young children using activities from Project WET.
- Clean Water Week (3rd week): Georgia has designated this week as Clean Water Week. Check with your state to see if there is a special time set aside to promote clean water. If not, ask your legislature to declare a proclamation in support.
- World Toilet Day (11/19): This day is not a joke. The purpose is to put a spotlight on the fact that over 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation in this day and age. You are encouraged to take a stand (or squat) to raise awareness about this global problem.
- National Handwashing Awareness Week (1st week): As cold and flu season continues, remind people they have the power to decrease the spread of infectious diseases. You just need a little soap and water.
- Human Rights Day (12/10): Water is one of the most basic human needs and should be something everyone has access to. On this day, plan a fundraiser or support an organization that promotes the delivery of clean water to all.
Wishing everyone a great year!