Saving water is a way of life for me. As a water management solution provider, every day I speak to professional landscape and property management companies responsible for billions of gallons of water about progressive methods of saving our most precious resource. For what purpose? The obvious – saving water saves money and creates a more sustainable environment for our health, safety, economy, landscape, and bottom line. But why stop there?
Imagine for a moment if by using water more responsibly we could do even more; something transformative and selfless. What if we could magically collect and transport the water we save in our landscape and distribute it to the almost 1 billion people who have no access to clean water? That would be inspiring and amazing! And, considering the average commercial property wastes enough water, often clean drinking water, in the landscape to support 200 families in the developing world; the idea of “Sharing the Savings” feels like the right thing to do on many levels.
This line of thought – Sharing the Savings – and its connection to our core values lead our company in 2012 to create a water savings-based charity called Save Water | Give Life. The idea is simple. For every irrigation system connected to our SmartLink, cloud-based water management system, we make a donation towards building a clean water well. The math works out that we can build a well for every 1,000 web based controller connections. It’s like the company Tom’s shoes – you buy a pair and they give a pair to people in need.
Today, a year after formation of Save Water | Give Life, our technology and this idea has caught on in a big way with the support of landscape industry professionals and Fortune 500 companies alike. As a result, we are already funding multiple clean water wells in partnership with highly efficient water-based charities like Living Water International. Now, as much as I love the concept of Sharing the Savings, I really, really wanted to go and personally see it in action. Could the average 38% water savings created by our technology truly be transformed into clean water for people in desperate need?
Well, after a life changing week in rural Guatemala with coworkers and customers, I can tell you the answer is YES! We successfully drilled our first clean well for the 181 children of the Monte Rico school while teaching the children clean water hygiene skills like brushing teeth and washing hands. No longer will these children, so full of love and hope, drink from a diseased 10 foot deep open well because caring people responsible for water management made a decision to save water AND give life!
On our final night of the trip as we reflected on our adventures, I heard a familiar song, but this time in a different way. U2’s Bono wrote “Where the Streets Have No Name”, referencing the strict class structure in Ireland and how just by knowing the street would reveal someone’s social status and wealth. Bono dreamed of a place where the streets have no name, meaning a time and place where people would not be judged by their class, but simply as equal members of God’s creation. Through Save Water | Give Life, I was able to go to a place where the streets literally have no name and where we who are so blessed with luxuries like clean water worked as equals, shoulder to shoulder in the mud, with our struggling brothers and sisters in Guatemala.
Having been there, I strongly encourage anyone reading this to step out and experience selfless giving through Save Water | Give Life or the water charity of your choice. Whether you participate through pursuing water savings on your properties or actively joining us on a trip, you will make a profound difference in the lives of others and be forever changed in the process.
Post originally published June 20, 2013