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Rotarians Celebrate World Water Day 2007 by Kicking off Construction of Grand Bahama Reverse-osmosis Desalination (ROD) Clean Water facility

Santa Monica Club to Hold Live Satellite Update at March 23 Meeting

March 22, 2007 marks World Water Day, a day to focus on resolving worldwide water scarcity issues. Recent studies indicate nearly one-third of the human population is currently short of water. Making clean water accessible and available to all people has become one of Rotary International’s goals.

To achieve this objective, Rotarians across the globe are joining forces as well as partnering with cooperative organizations to establish the necessary infrastructure.

To ensure clean water is available throughout Grand Bahama and readily available to the rest of the Bahamas following catastrophic hurricanes and other emergencies, Bahamian and United States Rotarians have joined forces to establish a Reverse-Osmosis Desalination (ROD) Facility.

This Clean Water facility is so important that all 10 Bahamian Rotary Clubs, the Greater Los Angeles Region Rotary District 5280 nine (9) District 5280 Rotary Clubs and the Rotary Foundation are participating, in cooperation with the local government, Grand Bahama Utility Corp, the TK Foundation.

This is the only project approved to date to receive a Competitive Matching Grant from The Rotary Foundation during its 2006-2007 fiscal year. The Rotary Foundation is Rotary International’s philanthropic organization.

Rotary Club of Santa Monica is the International Sponsor of this project. To celebrate World Water Day and kickoff facility construction a live satellite report from the Bahamas team will be delivered at its weekly meeting on March 23, 2007, held at 12:10 p.m. at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.

The kick-off comes two and a half years after two Category 3 hurricanes (Frances and Jeanne) hit Grand Bahamas Island in September 2004. More than 75 percent of the homes in Eight Mile Rock region suffered complete or partial loss of their roofs. Water rose six feet.

In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma hit Eight Mile Rock directly. Residents described storm surges 12-feet high; more than 100 homes were swept away. After each of these hurricanes, electricity was cut off and clean fresh water was unavailable for many days. Some did not have clean water for nearly three weeks. Government and Utilities stewardship found it challenging to serve the entire island due to the widespread damage.

This planned public-private partnership will assist the community and accelerate emergency water distribution. Installation of a secure desalination system will insure that the island’s 45,000 residents plus visitors have fresh water when the next hurricane strikes.

Substantial progress has been made to date. With over $220,000.00 funding in place, ground-breaking is schedule to occur in April 2007 and the plant will be fully operational during May 2007, before the next Hurricane season. In addition funding, Bahamian and American Rotarians will partner on project oversight, volunteer training, facility landscaping and other activities.

Rotary International is a global network of more than 29,600 Rotary clubs in more than 160 countries that work to improve the quality of life in their local communities and throughout the world. As volunteers, the 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide build goodwill and peace, provide humanitarian service and encourage high ethical standards in all vocations. For details, visit the website.

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