A few weeks ago, New Orleans had to issue a “Boil Water” advisory when a low pressure problem in the city’s system left the water temporarily unsafe to drink. Restaurants had to close, unable to wash dishes or hands, and there was much grumbling about money lost and general inconvenience. I even tweeted that another reason to love whiskey was that you never had to worry about boiling it. The next day, the system was working fine and we all returned to our daily routines of turning on the tap to wash and hydrate our bodies.

Turning wine into water, courtesy of Wine Into Water Campaign

Turning wine into water, courtesy of Wine Into Water Campaign

But that temporary inconvenience is the daily reality for billions of people in the world. 2.5 billion people live without clean water and 1 billion of them lack even adequate access to water at all. We boozers may joke about how we would die without our liquor/beer/wine, but the truth is that many people die every day because they don’t have enough water.

Enter Wine to Water, a non-profit dedicated to providing safe, clean water to needy people around the world. Wine to Water was formed in 2003 by Doc Henley, while he was bartending  in North Carolina. He notes “When the idea came to me to start Wine To Water the only real world job experience I had was tending bar. I dreamed of building an organization that fought water related death and disease using completely different methods than anyone else. So I started raising money to fight this water epidemic the best way I knew how, by pouring wine and playing music.”

One of the ways Doc hopes to fund Wine to Water is through  the project Just One Shift. From April 8-14, participating bartenders will donate their tips from one shift to help Wine to Water provide clean water around the globe.

It isn’t often you have the opportunity to  save lives just by ordering a drink, so I encourage everyone to check out  the list of all the bars who have signed up so far, plant your tuckus on a stool at one or more of the participating locations, and tip lavishly. And if there are no participants in your area, then pour a drink, tip yourself and send it off to Wine to Water.  Because everyone deserves clean water, even if it’s just a chaser for your whiskey.