The European River Swimming Day is observed to reclaim lakes and rivers through resourceful swimming actions which jointly create a wave of attention in support of water conservation. Its youth campaign is the Big Jump Challenge.
The EU has a futuristic water conservation vision for the year 2015. However, it would not be possible to achieve them. Hence, youth groups from throughout Europe have been invited to register at the official website www.bigjumpchallenge.net and create a campaign promoting goals related to water conservation.
A partner team belonging to a different EU country brings in a global dimension to the local jumps. Questions regarding the possibility of solving problems along with having fun, having politicians on board, and so on are being asked. The participating groups are being supported by the campaign platform through the development of creative swimming activities, and with the search for partners. The groups that are selected would be invited in summer 2015 to Brussels.
The campaign coordinator, Sabrina Schulz, says that The Big Jump stands for an innovative idea that brings people close to their rivers in an encouraging way. Presently, people are capable of swimming again in a number of rivers, a thing that was not a reality in the past. Since this is again possible nowadays, it leads to a different attachment with water.
The river action toolbox would be providing tools for water conservation as well as other self organized actions. With the help of the modules from the toolbox, participants can indulge in planning and implementation of informed and creative actions. It answers queries like: Where will I obtain information regarding the state of my river? How can I work in collaboration with people belonging to other countries? What should I do in order to develop a banner and a slogan? For instance, there is one letter writing module which comes up with a sample letter showing the manner in which one should contact the authority.
As laid down by the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), water should not be considered a commercial product but it is a heritage which needs to be defended, protected and treated properly. The WFD aims to maintain surface water in sound chemical and ecological state by 2015.
The benchmark is based on both the water quality and the water body structure. Water bodies which have not been altered or polluted act as the models.
Considering the practical situation, it is evident that by the year 2015, no EU country would be able to achieve the WFD objectives. Because of this, the Big Jump Challenge aims to take rivers into consideration as common cultural space that calls for a good chemical and ecological status.
Big Jump has been invented by Roberto Epple, a social entrepreneur. According to him, the reconciliation between citizens and their lakes or rivers, is a vital step to implement the WFD and other projects initiated with an aim to conserve groundwater, wetlands and watercourses. In 2015, Epple along with his partners will see to it that people from all over Europe jump into their rivers and lakes in support of water conservation.