To increase awareness and encourage action to address the global water crisis, the Global Water Center is touring the nation, showcasing its expansive, educational Mobile Discovery Center, according to a press release. Free-of-charge to the public, the exhibit will be open Sept. 8-11 at Southdale Center.

Lack of safe water is life-threatening and affects one-third of the world’s population – 2.2 billion people. Every 37 seconds a person dies from a preventable waterborne illness, totaling more than 2,300 per day and 800,000 each year. The global water crisis is urgent and enormous, but solvable, the press release said.

“We are fortunate to live in a nation where almost everyone has access to clean, safe water and it’s easy to lose sight of the perils faced by those in countries who don’t,” Chris Holdorf, executive director of the Global Water Center, said in a statement. “Impacts from the lack of safe water have posed serious health hazards for one third of the world’s population for generations and something must be done to end the crisis.”

Spanning more than 25,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Mobile Discovery Center’s experiential journey educates visitors about the world’s critical water issues and encourages guests to become advocates for safe water. This experience also tells the stories of water in the world, which are shown through highly visual mediums, including augmented reality, a 360-degree theater, interactive content and radio-frequency identification technology.

Designed for audiences of all ages, the exhibit offers hands-on activities, including a water testing station and treatment system. Major themes within the experience include:

• “Water Is Life” explores the uniqueness of water on Earth through visuals that demonstrate why it is essential to life.

• “Water and People” reveals almost every aspect of life that is impacted by water. It details the advantages and opportunities of reliable access to abundant, safe water and the obstacles presented by water scarcity and/or unsafe water.

• “Safe Water for Everyone” uses augmented reality to highlight how technologies and plans help secure sources of safe water.

All Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 protocols will be observed at the exhibition. This will include measures to assure social distancing, sanitation of all surfaces and the recommendation of mask usage for visitors, among other custom enhancements within the exhibits.

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