Water Crises – All Year Round

Water Crises – All Year Round

It’s December and many of us are now preoccupied with festive shopping and making plans for Christmas. But if you’re reading this, then chances are that in addition to dreaming about Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, you’re also one of the lucky few who have access to a natural resource that we all take very much granted – clean and safe drinking water. For those of us who live in the modern world, we can’t image a life without easy access to water, but millions face this harsh reality every day – all year round.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)these are some of the staggering statistics:

  • Up to 90% of wastewater in developing countries flows untreated into rivers, lakes and highly productive coastal zones, threatening health, food security and access to safe drinking and bathing water.
  • Over 80% of used water worldwide is not collected or treated (Corcoran et al., 2010).
  • The provision of improved sanitation and safe drinking water could reduce diarrhoeal diseases by nearly 90% (WHO, 2008a).
  • Human health risks are without doubt the major and most widespread concern linked to water quality. Each year ~3.5 million deaths related to inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene occur, predominantly in developing countries (WHO, 2008b).
  • Diarrhoeal diseases, often related to contaminated drinking water, are estimated to cause the death of more than 1.5 million children under the age of five per year (Black et al., 2010).
  • An important share of the total burden of disease worldwide, ~10%, could be prevented by improvements related to drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, and use of environmental management and health impact assessments.

While many organizations across the world work tirelessly to alleviate some of the suffering, we still have a long way to go. But by working towards a common goal we can make a difference, which is why in 2010 AquAid founded the Africa Trust to help make an impact and create sustainable projects that empower the less fortunate. When you choose AquAid as your preferred water cooler supplier, you not only gain access to an extensive range of high-quality products, but you also help to bring fresh and safe drinking water to thousands of impoverished people every day.

Water crises may exist all year round, but to date – and with your help – AquAid have donated in excess of £14 million and helped bring water to more than 2.5 million people! Eradicating the problem may seem an impossible task, but with each step, we help another person every single day.

Christmas at the Water Cooler

Christmas at the Water Cooler

A recent blog titled ‘And a Water Rich Pear Tree’ was actually about pears and how they’re such a water rich fruit (go and have a read, you’ll be glad you did). This blog, however, is actually about the origins of the rather wonderful (some would say long-winded) Twelve Days of Christmas.

According to Wiki: “The Twelve Days of Christmas”  is an English Christmas carol that enumerates in the manner of a cumulative song a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the twelve days of Christmas (the twelve days that make up the Christmas season, starting with Christmas Day). The song, published in England in 1780 without music as a chant or rhyme, is thought to be French in origin.

In the interests of brevity, here are the opening bars:

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me

A partridge in a pear tree.

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me

Two turtle doves

And a partridge in a pear tree.

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me

Three French hens,

Two turtle doves,

And a partridge in a pear tree.

The song is then added to (refer to the above image for the sequence), always returning to the initial bars.

You may be wondering what this has to do with your water cooler – in fact, with water in general. It’s simple, really – we’re all aware of the term ‘water cooler humour’ – which generally refers to the habit where those worker bees who gather at their dispenser for a short break to refresh their water and top up their water bottles, and use this time to swap stories, compare notes and generally catch up on what’s been happening since everyone last got together (since the last water cooler break, that is).

Now that we’re racing towards Christmas and we’re all of good cheer, but we’re all a little tired after a big year filled with conkers such as ‘to Brexit or not to Brexit’ perhaps we’re running out of steam, or cheery topics – this is where this song comes in. You can amaze and delight your colleagues with your knowledge; you can retrieve the song on your mobile and who knows, begin a rousing rendition at the water cooler break station, which might just get everyone in more of a festive spirit (or might not, either way, we won’t be accepting any responsibility if the water cooler break goes south).

However you choose to your water cooler break, remember to stick with the original quest – to replenish your water all the better to keep your merry little self hydrated this festive season.

P.S. If you don’t currently have a water cooler where you can gather to chat to your colleagues, contact us at AquAid – we have 20 years’ experience in the provision of the right water dispenser to meet your requirements.

Festive Ways to (safely) hydrate this December

Festive Ways to (safely) hydrate this December

For many, December can mean a time of excess and overload, although often it may not be intentional. It’s easy to be caught up in the festivities whether it’s the year end work functions or just a general letting the hair down after a long year.

When it comes to festive drinking though, there are ways to keep it fun and jolly and still maintain a healthy level of hydration.

Hot chocolate: Yes, hot chocolate is full of sugar, but it also consists of hot water (you can even make your hot chocolate at work using your AquAid Water Boiler – bonus!) and chocolate! And as we all know, chocolate (in moderation) is good for you.

Spiced hot drinks:  We’re not going to fall into the trap  of suggesting that glühwein or mulled wine is good for you (we’re rather clever little elves are we), but the spices and fruit that are part of these hot drinks can be used with great healthy hydrating effect without being steeped in alcohol. Sleigh across the internet, there are more hot spiced drinks than you can shake a stick of Blackpool rock at.

Cool drinks: If you’ve pledged to keep it tidy, alcohol wise, this Christmas, why not opt for mocktails? They’re fun, fruity, tasty and good for you. For these though, whereas you can draw your fresh drinking water from your water cooler, it’s probably best not to do your mixings at the water cooler station. Rather use the kitchen or bring your mixings from home to add to your water. Think cinnamon pear, orange pomegranate or apple cinnamon pomegranate.

Should you opt for the alcohol rich festive cheer, remember the general rule of thumb: match each alcoholic drink with a drink of water.

On this cheery note, we like to take the opportunity to wish you all a wonderful festive season and a very Merry Christmas from all of us at AquAid.

And a Water Rich Pear Tree!

And a Water Rich Pear Tree!

Even though pears (or pear trees at least) are immortalised in that classic Christmas-time song involving a partridge and a stream of nerve-wracking repetition, the actual pear is an oft overlooked fruit this time of year. – and they certainly shouldn’t be. Here’s why:

Pears rank high on the water-rich fruit list, with a water content of some 84%. But that’s not the only reason we should look to pears to increase our perhaps lax winter drinking water habits – they are also highly nutritious.

Pears help lower cholesterol – they contain heart-healthy soluble fibre, a nutrient that can reduce the absorption of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol into the bloodstream.  This means they’re good for heart health too.

They boost the immune system – when you’re feeling a bit under the weather, or it feels like you’re coming down with a cold – eat a pear.  They are high in vitamin C and other nutrients that boost the immune system.

Digestive aid – the same fibre found in pears that helps lower cholesterol also aids digestion. In nice terms, pears essentially keep our plumbing working properly. You can thank the pectin, a component of dietary fibre, in them for that one.

They’re hypoallergenic – Pears are a nutritious option for those with food sensitivities – without any adverse effects.

Super hydrating – we all recognise pears for their incredible juiciness. That sumptuous feeling when you bite into a juicy pear is because they boast a high water content.

Whereas you might be tempted to follow the rather less healthy pear eating route – glazed pears, pear tarts etc. you’ll get most of the goodness from raw pears, eaten unpeeled – most of the benefits are locked into the skin.

If circumstances are having you neglect your water cooler water refill this winter (although we recommend you don’t), at least you’ll have back-up – in the form of the healthy, delicious, water-rich pear.

Life-Giving Water

Life-Giving Water

It’s been said that the next great wars will be fought over water, and it’s easy to see why if we consider the life-giving properties of this unassuming clear fluid plus the fact that this natural resource seems to be dwindling in many parts of the world.

Water is the only substance that all living organisms need to survive – from the smallest amoeba to the largest mammal. We all need water, so much so that the lack of water will kill you much faster than the lack of food will – survival estimates seem to vary between three to four days and one week, depending on factors like heat and exercise etc. But what exactly makes water so essential?

Water is important because it makes up the majority of our body. According to the USGS the brain and heart are composed of 73% water; the lungs 83%; the skin contains 64% water; muscles and kidneys 79%; and even our bones are 31% water. Water is vital for transporting all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins our bodies need to function optimally every day. And even slight dehydration affects this performance, both mentally and physically.

Dehydration occurs when the body is not getting enough water, or it has lost too much water which isn’t being replaced fast enough. It’s dangerous for all human beings, no matter the age, circumstance or fitness level. Having said that, the biggest risk developmentally is amongst young children where the lack of sufficient drinking water can lead to stunted growth, reduced mental ability and poor physical performance. One study showed that when 59 children aged 7 to 9 years, were divided into two groups with the one group following their normal drinking habits; and the other group offered extra water, the latter group reported less thirst and performed better when visual attention tasks were carried out.

When one considers the dangers of dehydration it’s easy to see why a water cooler is such an essential component in nearly every kind of environment, whether it be schools, offices, hospitals or care centers to name but a few. Call AquaAid today for more on what water cooler would better suit your needs.

Water Cooler Trivia – Part II – All Things British

Water Cooler Trivia – Part II – All Things British

Yes, there was a Part I – catch up already. Just in time for the weekend or to amaze your mates and/or colleagues as you gather around the water cooler next week, we present Part II:

* London is one of only two cities above the 50th parallel with a population of more than five million. Moscow is the other.

It is thought that St. Patrick may have brought the early knowledge of whisky distilling from Ireland around the mid-5th century. The Scots call it uisque baugh in Gaelic, or ‘water of life’, and it is one of the United Kingdom’s top five exports, along with cars, computers, aircraft, and oil.  Personally, I couldn’t think of a nicer export, could you?

In the 16th century, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth I decreed that mutton could be served only with bitter herbs, intending to stop people from eating the sheep in order to help the wool trade. Her subjects discovered mint sauce improved the taste of the meat, and it’s been a favourite condiment for roast lamb ever since. Hmm, clearly I’m in the minority as I’m not a fan of the whole mint sauce accompanying roast lamb thing.

Until 1832, England only had two universities: Oxford and Cambridge.

The sport of football, or soccer, supposedly got its start in England when Anglo-Saxon farmworkers plowing a field unearthed the skull of a Danish warrior killed in battle a few years earlier. To show their still bitter feelings towards the Danes and to amuse themselves, they began kicking the skull among them. This early form of football was called “kicking the Dane’s head”. Seems the savagery has passed from the players to the supporters somewhat!

James Bond’s code ‘007’ was inspired by the author Ian Fleming’s bus route from Canterbury to London. Am I the only person who when thinking of James Bond – immediately starts singing, ‘Goldfingggggerrrrr’ as opposed to any of the other James Bond theme songs?

The Ghost Research Foundation has determined that with 500 recorded cases of ghostly encounters, York is the most haunted city in England and one of the most haunted in the world. Make appropriate ghostly type noises here.

Well, that’s the lot for this week’s content of trivia to amaze and astound. Keep an eye out for future inserts and as always, please feel free to add to and / or correct the trivia if you feel I have it all wrong.

*from various sources from an article at Fact Retriever