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Cleaning the Rivers of the World

Cleaning the Rivers of the World

Where to begin?  Read the story in The Rotarian, September 2018 issue.

Clean your own water ways!  Submit your project to the World Polio Day Competition! 

Start Planning Your Project Now!

Entries for the Fall 2018 Competition are due by December 1, 2018.  Click here for flier.

Cleaning the Rivers of the World, a project of the Rotary Club of Ukiah South (District 5130, Northern California), provides support, leadership and fellowship for Rotarians and the projects they inspire to clean our rivers locally and globally.

The project, initiated by Rotarian Salvador Rico, has created a network of partnerships including Rotary clubs and Rotarian Action Groups to inspire, promote, and recognize the projects being undertaken around the world.

Educational materials on the challenge and best practice approaches are available in English and Spanish.

The partnership with the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG), the Rotarian Action Group for Peace (RAGFP), and the Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group (ESRAG) provides a model of the fellowship that grows within Rotary.

Among other things, Cleaning the Rivers of the World has initiated a semi-annual World Water Day Competition to recognize the Most Innovative and the Most Impactful river clean-up projects.

The Fall 2018 designated date coincides with World Polio Day to recognize the fundamental role clean rivers play in our global initiative to rid the world of the wild polio virus.


Spring 2018 Winners!

The winners of the May 2018 World Water Day Competition are announced on the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group website (WASRAG). 

Click on the pictures below to read details.

Most Innovative - Rotary Club de Suzano, Brazil

Balainho Creek's Path Most Innovative Rotary Club de Suzano Brazil

Balainho Creek's Pathway


Most Impactful - Cleaning the Lerma River,  Mexico

Cleaning the Lerma River, Mexico, Cleaning the Rivers of the World



World Water Day Competition - Win $$$$ Prizes!

WASRAG (Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group) and

Cleaning the Rivers of the World, a project of the South Ukiah Rotary.

Submit entries by December 1, 2018 to


  • $500 US for the project with the most impact

  • $500 US for the most innovative project

Click to download PDF Flyer in English .


What must you do?

Whatever works best for your community! In some areas October 24th is in the middle of a dry season - or a monsoon. In the north, rivers may be frozen until Spring. The choice is yours! All we ask is that the project improve the quality of water and/or level of awareness of it in YOUR community. You could, for example:

  • Clean up debris along a waterway, lake, creek, pond, stream, or other water source.
  • Prevent erosion by planting trees and native plants along a water source.
  • Build awareness in your community - encourage students to write essays on the importance of water and what THEY can do to protect it.
  • Encourage farmers in your area to use eco-friendly chemicals that will not damage fragile water systems.
  • If your community's water source is safe, eliminate plastic water bottles. If they are a necessity ensure they are collected and recycled appropriately.

Use your imagination! The bottom line is to educate your community on the importance of protecting its water sources. Get them involved!

Whenever possible, please consult with your local water or conservation authority to ensure that your efforts are compatible with conditions in your area! For example, cleaning a watercourse during spawning season could have a negative impact on fish stocks.

Need Ideas?

Go to the World Water Day website. You will find a wealth of ideas to kick-start your project.

Share your Story! 

Please use your project to celebrate World Water Day. You can promote it at your regular club meeting closest to March 22nd, 2018. WASRAG will share some of them in its monthly newsletter.

And - why not tell your story to the Rotary world yourself? Go to the RI website, log in, and then post it on Rotary Club Central and/or Rotary Showcase!

Who will judge the entries?

The members of WASRAG's Membership Satisfaction Team, including Chris Etienne - USA (Chair), Salvador Rico – USA, Tom Bos - USA, Ada Cheng - Hong Kong, Rich Churchman - USA, Toro de Silva - Brazil, V.N. Singh - India, Ndukwe Chukwu - Nigeria and Rob Crabtree - New Zealand will review all applications and submit a short-list of finalists to WASRAG's Operations Team.

How do you enter the competition?

Submit a brief description of your project to Include what you are doing, the target audience and the expected impact of the project. Remember to tell us your Club name and District number and give us a contact name, email address and phone number. Some projects will be showcased on the WASRAG website.

Deadline and Awards

Please submit all entries by December 1st, 2018. Winners will be notified by February 1st, 2019.

How Did We Get Started?

Many of you will have read the fantastic story of the Rotary Club of South Ukiah (California) District 5130's "Cleaning the Rivers of the World" program in WASRAG's October 2017 Newsletter. Spearheaded by passionate water champion Salvador Rico, the South Ukiah Rotary Club challenged Rotary clubs around the world to clean up rivers in their communities.

Inspired by Salvador and his club's efforts, WASRAG now invites you and your club to get involved in water - and maybe win some funding for your water projects!

Cleaning the Rivers of the World