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The Critical Role of Water Mapping in Achieving Water Security
China is one of the largest countries in the world —a land full of wonders and advancements. The country hosts almost a fifth of the entire world population but when it comes to fresh water, it only holds 7% of it. Things are bad in Northern China where the population is high but water resources are low. While southern China has adequate lakes and ponds, they are not properly sanitized to be used as drinking water. All of these add up to China’s current situation where fresh sanitized drinking water is a luxury and a privilege. While there are numerous organizations willing to lend a helping hand, the lack of data and perception has been a big barrier to supplying clean water in all parts of the country. This is when MyH2O's journey begin.
MyH2O – Test Your Water
As MyH2O is initiating a new water testing campaign across China’s western regions, where minority groups reside – including Qinghai, Gansu, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi and so on, we sat down with the group’s founder, Charlene Ren, to know more about this grass-root organisation, its aims, achievements and next steps.
Alumni Spotlight: Charlene Ren, Environmental Engineer
As a Tata Fellow from 2013-2015, Xiaoyuan “Charlene” Ren worked on a project treating wastewater in Indian paper mills while earning her Master’s degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering at MIT. Now she’s turning her attention to her native country of China. Charlene has founded an NGO, MyH2O, that is trying to extend access to clean water in China by creating and training a youth-led water testing network. For this work she’s been named a 2016 Echoing Green Global Fellow. A “solution connector,” Charlene tells us more about her venture and life after the Tata Center.
Making water more safe for all
The Web portal, called MyH2O (myh2o.org), is one of the first online crowdsourcing platforms in China aiming to promote risk awareness, citizen activism and governmental response through independent reports on water quality. The team is made up of Chinese students studying at such American universities as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University, and MBA students at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing.