Whether or not you sip it alongside an iced tea or margarita, free tap water at restaurants is so standard that we don't even think about it. It's such a plentiful resource that it's easy to forget that globally nearly 900 million people — half of whom are children — lack access to it.
According to UNICEF 4,000 children die each day from water-related diseases due to unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation facilities.
That's what World Water Week is trying to change. This week (Monday through Sunday), participating restaurants will suggest a donation of $1 in exchange for the tap water that typically comes for free. The small fee goes to UNICEF's Tap Project to bring clean water to children in developing countries.
In Houston, 36 restaurants have signed on to support World Water Week.
Since 2007, the Tap Project has raised more than $3 million in the United States, which goes to help communities drill wells, install water pumps, build latrines and teach hygiene to schoolchildren. In 2012 World Water Week proceeds benefit children in Mauritania, Togo, Vietnam and Cameroon.
In Houston, 36 restaurants have signed on to support World Water Week. The full list of participants is here, but those participating range in style, cuisine, price and location, including a pair of restaurants outside city limits in Sugar Land.
So whether you are in the mood for Canopy, Tacos A Go-Go, Zelko Bistro, Black Hole Coffee House, Rainbow Lodge or Le Mistral, you can make a Project Taps donation without changing your plans. (Or you could simply donate online here.)
And remember that the free water we take for granted is a priceless luxury for so many.