On Saturday, May 5th, over 400 people gathered in Fort Collins, Colorado on the campus of Colorado State University (CSU) to raise funds and awareness for the global water crisis at the 5th Annual Hach Walk for Water. Hach associates, along with their families, friends, neighbors and community leaders set out on a three-and-a-half-mile trek across campus to replicate the walk that so many people – especially women and children – in the developing world do daily. Each walker was armed with a bucket, which remained empty for the first half of the walk. At the midpoint, walkers filled their buckets with water for the rest of the journey. A single gallon of water weighs almost 8.5 pounds, or nearly 4 kilograms. With at least a few gallons each, walkers soon learned how heavy that can feel over a couple miles!
As in the past, local sponsors helped make this event a reality. In addition to Hach's partnership with CSU, they were joined by Hydro Construction, Veolia, High Country Beverage, 5280 Stone, West Point Carpet One, Danaher Corporate, Loveland Thompson Valley Rotary and MSC. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) was also a part of this year's event and AWWA CEO David LaFrance even said a few words to the crowd.
In total this year's event raised over $73,000 to provide clean water systems to communities in need. As in the past, Hach is partnering with Water Mission to help identify, install and sustain living water treatment systems around the world. Later this year they will work with Water Mission to select one or two communities that will be the recipients of the funds raised. The projects that benefited from funds from the previous four walks include systems in Munami and Kunya, Kenya, Huta Ginjang, Indonesia, Santa Clotilde, Peru and Andot, Cambodia. Each time Water Mission works on a project they become familiar the needs of the community, assess their capabilities and validate that the key elements for a sustainable long-term successful project are in place. From there, they design a custom solution that may include water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). They also train local community leaders to test the water (often using Hach equipment!) and maintain the system to ensure it continues to help the community for many years to come.
Hach remains committed to ensuring water quality for people around the world and is proud to share that they have been able to raise more than $260,000 since they started the Walk for Water five years ago. The team is looking forward to identifying their next project and is already thinking about how to make the 6th Annual Walk for Water in 2019 an even bigger success.