A little Bling

“A little Bling can go a long way in Nicaragua” in the Denver Post (August 12, 2007).

Twenty percent of the world’s population does not have enough water. The United Nations expects that number to rise to 30 percent by 2025, with possibly 2.3 billion people lacking access to improved water supplies.

I propose a solution to the problem, but it will take the goodwill and generous nature of our country’s elite to make it a reality: Bling H20.

If you haven’t heard of Bling H20, you certainly haven’t been hanging out with the right crowd. Bling H20 is bottled water that can fetch up to three figures at some of the trendiest celebrity hotspots.

Bling H20 was introduced last year by Hollywood producer Kevin Boyd. He noticed that bottled water has seemingly become an accessory for the celebrity set. Capitalizing on egos, Boyd set out to create the hippest, trendiest and most expensive bottled water ever.

Thus evolved Bling H20, which sells online at $40 for a 750 ml bottle. Trendy nightclubs sell the same bottle for twice that.

Gourmet water, it is being called. It hails from a spring in Tennessee, not exactly the type of place I would imagine to find gourmet water. Rather, I envision something more along the lines of Glacia Nova, which bottles pure glacier water from melting icecaps around Mount Rainier National Park. At $40 a bottle, I could understand the ego-driven thirst to drink something that has been frozen for more than 10,000 years.

But that wouldn’t sit right with the socially conscious Hollywood crowd, I’m sure. Instead, their water of choice is Bling H20, which comes in a collector’s edition bottle dotted with Swarovski crystals.

Boyd has correctly identified a need and a thirst for his product. The crystal-laden bottle routinely shows up at award shows, including at the Emmys, where celebrities received facials with the holy grail of water.

I call on the Hollywood crowd to join me in bringing about an end to the world’s water shortages. If Ben Stiller can ship 10 cases of Bling H20 to a film shoot in Cabo San Lucas, then certainly there is room in his heart to ship water to other impoverished spots on the globe.

Take Waslala, Nicaragua, for example. Two-thirds of Waslala’s 45,000 people do not have access to clean water, resulting in disease and death. Studies show that a person needs 4 to 5 gallons of water per day to survive.

That would mean the citizens of Waslala would need at least 180,000 gallons of water a day to survive. We’re talking roughly 360,000 bottles of Bling. That’s $14.4 million, plus shipping.

If only each celebrity or ├╝ber-rich Blinger would adopt an impoverished town, the water shortage in the world would cease, and Kevin Boyd’s mission of providing the best water to the world would succeed.

Admittedly, Bling H20 is a bit out of my price range. I get my water from Aqua Pennsylvania, and last month I went through nearly 5,000 gallons at $0.006817 a gallon. That’s a lot of Bling (and a lot more than I need to survive). How’s the average faucet-drinking man to contribute?

Matthew Nespoli, a 2004 Villanova University grad, thinks he has found an answer. After graduating, he joined the Augustinian Volunteers, an international faith-based service program similar to the Peace Corps, and founded Water for Waslala. Through fund- raising and networking, Nespoli and fellow volunteers have helped raise over $250,000 to build water systems in Waslala over the past three years, providing 2,500 Waslalans with clean water for a lifetime.

That’s 6,250 bottles of Bling that could be sent to Waslala. It may not be much, but at least it’s a start.

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