California Water Board: Ice Bucket Challenge Doesn’t Violate Our Regulations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    In this image from video posted on Facebook, courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former President George W. Bush participates in the ice bucket challenge with the help of his wife, Laura Bush, in Kennebunkport, Maine. The challenge has caught on with notable figures participating in the campaign to raise money for the fight against ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. (AP Photo/Courtesy George W. Bush Presidential Center)

    The Ice Bucket Challenge is not violating any of the California water board's regulations, at least as far as the agency is concerned. Even during a drought.

    Amid a backlash against the viral challenge, some critics have argued that it's wasteful to dump water, even for a cause — especially in places like California, where there's a historic drought.

    But the statewide water regulator offered a measured response.

    "It doesn't violate any of our regulations," said George N. Kostyroko, director of the California State Water Resources Control Board's office of public affairs, in an email.

    "People should always use good judgment whenever they use water while we're in a drought. On the other hand, we understand that this is a charitable event," Kostyroko added.

    The Ice Bucket Challenge's phenomenal success is making other charitable organizations rethink how they connect with a younger generation of potential donors.

    Since the ALS Association began tracking the campaign's progress on July 29, it has raised more than $53.3 million from 1.1 million new donors in what is one of the most viral philanthropic social media campaigns in history.

    Thousands of people, including celebrities like Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey, have posted videos online of themselves getting buckets of ice water dumped over their heads and challenging others to do the same – or donate money to the ALS Association, which raises money for Lou Gehrig's disease research and assistance.

    But not everyone is a fan of the public approach of the challenge, and not only out of water concerns. The Twitter hashtag #NoIceBucketChallenge iis being used for a variety of reasons.

    "I just think it seems hokey and far too gimmicky and a hot trend and part of the whole 'me' culture of 'Oh, look at me. Pay attention to me,'" said Cameron Mitchell of New York. "The charity part seems like an afterthought."

    Whether people are annoyed, impressed or otherwise, the Ice Bucket Challenge has them talking – and ALS's Carrie Munk says that even if they don't donate, the campaign has raised their awareness.

    That is a major focus of the organization, which last year spent 32 percent of its annual budget on public and professional education and 27 percent on research.

    Just a few years ago, she said, only about 50 percent of Americans knew what ALS is.

    "We're really looking forward to see how the needle moves," she said.

    Ice Bucket Challenge Changes Way Charities Operate Ice Bucket Challenge Changes Way Charities Operate Stars and everyday people are getting buckets of ice water dumped on their heads and those same people are throwing out challenges to people to donate to ALS. Cheryl Hurd reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014)