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2014 New Year's Resolution

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Water is our most precious and interconnected natural resource. It sustains all ecosystems, communities, and economies from local watersheds to the seas. It's vital to sustaining our health, safety, and the environments in which we live and work. Simply put, water is life.

With population growing exponentially, weather patterns shifting unpredictably, and increasing demands on freshwater resources, we need a more complete picture of water quality information than we have today, even in developed countries. Our planet's long-term success depends on it.

New Year's Eve is a time of reflection, and commitment to set challenging goals for the future. My Blue Legacy team has been doing just that. For the last six years, we've sparked dialogue, debate, and helped create a voice for our water planet through international filmmaking expeditions, digital media, and events. We've worked with citizens, business leaders, and elected officials to increase public awareness and inspire actions to steward water resources more responsibly.

Our work has been impactful. But we can do more. In 2014, we'll embark on our most audacious and collaborative journey yet.

I've been fortunate to explore bodies of water on all seven continents. And while the people and geographies I've interacted with are incredibly diverse, their frustration to better understand the current state of their water is remarkably universal. Whether at the Great Lakes or the Ganges -− time and again −- I'm amazed at how individuals are deeply concerned about this issue and have no cost-effective way to find the information they seek. But if armed with this information, they could partner with industry, their communities, and their governments to vastly improve how local watersheds and interconnected global water resources are managed.

While Blue Legacy's storytelling heightens public awareness about water quality issues, the most compelling stories are the ones that blend the human experience with the evidence presented by the data.

We live in the instant information age. At each of our fingertips is up-to-the-minute weather forecasts, search functionality for anything, information on what words are trending, what videos have gone viral, and the status updates of hundreds of friends and businesses we follow. Ironically though, current water quality data isn't easily accessible or widely available to the public.

Innovating beyond this challenge will increase transparency, strengthen accountability, and promote collaboration. It will enable water to be managed more sustainably.

Blue Legacy's New Year's resolution is a commitment to harness the power of public-private collaboration and innovative technologies to unearth and share this data to help sustain our water planet. Imagine a time in the near future, when checking water quality will be as easy as checking the weather.

Happy New Year and stay tuned...