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Clean water act

(article, Caroline Cummins)

Saturday, March 22, is World Water Day, a day picked by the United Nations in 1992 to recognize how essential water is to life on the planet and how little pristine water we actually have. 

The week before the day is called World Water Week, and this year a restaurant-focused effort called the Tap Project aims to increase awareness of World Water Week and raise money to provide clean water for kids around the globe.

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Here's how it works: Between March 16 and March 22, pick a restaurant affiliated with the Tap Project and go eat there. Order a glass of tap water — the stuff you'd normally get for free — and donate a minimum of $1 to "pay" for that water. The money goes to UNICEF; each dollar, according to the Tap Project website, will provide clean drinking water for a child for a very Biblical-sounding 40 days.

Want to know more? The Tap Project website opens with a video listing world water stats: more than 1 billion people don't have access to clean water and nearly 6,000 children die every day from thirst or water-related diseases. Kind of makes you feel thirsty, no?

Participating restaurants in the Tap Project include New York's Le Bernardin, San Francisco's Andalu, Chicago's Bin 36, and Seattle's Tavolata. Plop your ZIP code into the Tap Project's search engine and the website will give you the nearest — and not always super-fancy — participating restaurant.

We'll lift our glasses to that.

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