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Mina Guli to Run Equivalent of 40 Marathons in 40 Days on Six Continents to Raise Awareness About Global Water Scarcity Crisis

NEW YORK, March 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In an unprecedented "journey by foot," Mina Guli, an Australian attorney, entrepreneur, and global water advocate, will run the equivalent of 40 marathons -- 1,048 miles -- in 40 days along six rivers on six continents, all to raise awareness of the global water crisis.  

Guli, the founder and CEO of Thirst (www.thirst4water.org), an international non-profit committed to water conservation, will begin her remarkable run quite appropriately on World Water Day, March 22, in Las Vegas. Her #run4water journey will then take her along rivers in Brazil, Australia, China, Egypt and the UK over six weeks.

Guli's epic challenge aims to bring global attention to 'Goal 6' of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, which includes ensuring universal and equitable access to affordable, safe drinking water for all.

"The water crisis is an opportunity for innovation and leadership," said Guli. "If we don't change consumer behavior and the way that business operates, by 2030 the demand for water will be 40% greater than supply."

"Clean water and sanitation is one of the biggest problems of our time," Guli stressed, explaining that last year the World Economic Forum ranked the water crisis as the highest concern for the next decade.

Guli, who serves as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and was named one of the "World's Greatest Leaders" by Fortune magazine, noted that water usage has had devastating effects across the globe as 650 million people live without water. By 2025, 1.8 billion people, almost a third of the world's population, will experience absolute water scarcity.

Of all the available water on earth, less than 1% is available for consumption by plants, humans and animals. As the population grows and manufacturing increases, the pressure on already limited water resources intensifies.

"The global water crisis is pervasive and demands our immediate attention," said Guli. "Water scarcity, though pressing, is not the only problem that needs to be addressed. Even in places where there is an abundance of water, there are water issues. This includes water quality, the cost of water, the distribution of water, and poorly managed infrastructure."

The 46-year-old pointed out that solving the crisis starts with an understanding of not just the supply of water, but also why the demand for water is growing. Ninety-five percent of the water we use every day is "invisible."  For example:

  • It takes the equivalent of an Olympic sized swimming pool of fresh water to raise just one cow;
  • You could run your shower for two hours with the amount of water it takes to produce one beef burger; and
  • It takes nearly 3,900 gallons of water to produce a cotton suit.

(P. 2—Woman Running 40 Marathons for Water Conservation)

The rivers Guli has chosen to run are symbolic of the different aspects of the world's water crisis. The expedition, which is being supported by Tibet Water, Lifestraw and Nike, consists of:

  • The Colorado River, USA, – March 22nd – 26th
  • The Amazon River, Brazil – March 28th – April 2nd
  • The Murray River Australia, – April 5th – 9th
  • The Yangtze River, China – April 10th – 15th
  • The Thames River, UK – April 23rd – May 1

Tibet Water is a leading company in China that focuses on beverages, such as premium and mineral water, including its 5100 brand, and beer. Tibet Water also sponsored Guli's first ultramarathon journey to raise awareness of the water scarcity crisis. 

Sunny Wong, the executive director, said, "We are really honored to participate in this expedition again and to support Mina in raising awareness about the global water crisis, one of the biggest issues facing our planet. Tibet Water is committed to working with Mina and the team to solve the crisis together."  

LifeStraw is founded on the concepts of social good and global impact and is committed to redefining the safe drinking water space through technology innovation and product quality and design. As with Guli's Thirst initiative, its work is driving sustainable access to safe drinking water by engaging governments, donors, and individual consumers to understand the problem and become an active part of the solution.  

"Mina and I were brought together as two, young, global women leaders working on safe water and driven to make change," said Alison Hill, managing director of LifeStraw. "6RiverRun is a heroic feat of endurance raising awareness for a critical issue – lack of clean water. By running along the most historic rivers in the world, she raises a critical message – the world's future and our lives depend on having enough clean safe water – is sure to resonate. Together, we are asking for an extraordinary commitment from everyone, everywhere to turn the tide."

To find out more about Guli's #run4water and how to support it, visit www.minaguli.com and to keep up to date on the journey via social media follow:
Social feeds for #Run4Water include:
Twitter: @minaguli
Instagram: @minaguli
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MinaGuliWater/

Photographic material will be housed on Flickr at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/run4water/

About Thirst:
Thirst is a dedicated to changing the way the world thinks about, uses and consumes water. Launched on World Water Day in 2012 by Mina Guli, the charity looks to arm companies and individuals with knowledge of the water crisis through education initiatives, unique outreach projects and a large engagement network. Thirst's vision is to build a grassroots community of Water Heroes – companies and individuals working together to create a shift in purchasing behavior, with consumers favoring water-sustainable products.

About Mina Guli:
Mina Guli is a water advocate, an attorney and a pioneer athlete. At 22, she was told she would never be able to run again after breaking her back, but has since completed several Ironman events and the daunting Marathon Des Sables, as well as a six-day, 251km ultra marathon across Madagascar.  Prior to her work as a water advocate, Mina was a lawyer for the World Bank where she was involved in developing the first carbon projects in China, India, Indonesia and Nepal. During her time at the World Bank, Mina also structured seven of their carbon funds representing over one billion dollars of assets under management. She is a leading figure in efforts to protect the world's water supplies. In 2010, she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and in 2011, she was named one of Australia's "50 for the Future". Last year Fortune Magazine named her one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders.

About LifeStraw:
LifeStraw focuses on innovation of technology that converts microbiologically contaminated water into safe drinking water with products that are designed to fit the needs of the people that use them. The first LifeStraw was the LifeStraw Guinea Worm Filter introduced in 1996, which has been instrumental in the near-eradication of Guinea worm disease. In 2015, the personal LifeStraw filter was introduced for use in developing countries. Today LifeStraw is used in 64 countries and includes filters and purifiers for households, clinics, schools, and for outdoor recreation, travel and everyday personal use.

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