Local Restaurants Participate In Program To Bring Water To Developing Countries

When disater strikes, one thing people always need is drinking water.

It's something most of us take for granted. This week, Cincinnati restaurants are working with UNICEF, to make sure developing countries can get clean water as well.

Cincinnati is one of 14 U.S> cities raising money for UNICEF's Safe Water program. The lack of clean drinking water is the second largest killer of children under five worldwide.

We order it without a second thought.

"We got it made here in American, we got a great thing, all our kids like got it made. We have the perfect water. Cincy water is good by the way," said restaurant owner Andy Hajjar.

Hajjar's Mediteranean Grill is one of more than 90 area restuarants involved in the Cincinnati Tap Project. This week, the eateries will ask customers to pay for tap water that's usually free.

"You drink water, you donate a dollar or more we take credit card or cash," said Hajjar.

Hajjar has pledged to match the amount of money collected in his restaurant.

Carbonated, sport, flavored, even vitamin water. Americans buy billions of dollars of water every year. A contribution of even $1 to UNICEF this week buys 40 liters of clean, safe drinking water that children around the world desperately need.

"UNICEF serves 90 countries with this problem. They're in 193 countries total. literally a worldwide issue," said Hajjar.

Mitch Dunn is the local "tap project" coordinator. A father himself, Dunn says raising money for UNICEF has caused him to think about how his family sometimes takes water for granted.

"I was thinking about water differently this morning as I was taking my 5 minute shower. There are people in the world who are drinking out of stagnent puddles of water that we probably wouldn't step in much less drink so we're obviously very fortunate," said Dunn.

The tap project ends next Saturday - World Water day.

Do you take clean water for granted? A lot of us do. When you brush your teeth, turn the water off. Conservationists estimate we waste an average of 3 gallons of water when we just let it run while brushing.