Dai is Director of the Water Conservation Association in Suihua City of Heilongjiang Province. She had worked in the Water Bureau and knew about the problem of China’s water resource. In order to find out how much people knew about it and to spread the message of conservation she had spent ten years travelling around China doing surveys and investigations. She set up the Water Conservation Center to spread the knowledge of water conservation and in addition provided information to local and migrant workers on employment information. Further, she and her husband had given up their relatively prosperous business and travelled to other cities on this endeavor, and during their trips lived on picking and recycling discarded items. They persisted in talking about the issue, at times to enormous groups and at times to individuals. When she returned to Suihua her downtrodden appearance had shocked neighbor and friends, and it was rumored that she had lost her mind.
In 2006 she was invited to the World Conference on Water. In 2007 she learnt from the Global Poverty Alleviation Alliance Conference that around the world one child would die every 15 seconds due to the problem of water. After returning home, she made more than 180 attempts and finally succeeded in the application to establish the Suihua Water Conservation Association. There are now several thousands of volunteers, and they have joined force with other NGOs to further spread the conservation message. She has suggested that if every Chinese would save one cup of water every day, 325,000 cubic meter of water would be conserved daily for posterity.
This post is also available in 简体中文.