Global Water Center’s Mobile Discovery Center is Coming to Charlotte


Lack of safe water is life-threatening and affects one-third of the world’s population – 2.2 billion people. Every 40 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.

To increase awareness and encourage action to address it, the Global Water Center (GWC) will be coming to Charlotte to showcase its Mobile Discovery Center (MDC). The exhibit will be open from May 5 to 9 at Charlotte Premium Outlets.

“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,” said Chris Holdorf, executive director of GWC. “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 MDC’s experiential journey educates visitors about the world’s critical water issues and motivates guests to become advocates for safe water. Stories are told through highly interactive visual mediums, including augmented reality and RFID technology.

Designed for all audiences, particularly students, youth groups and families with children, the exhibit offers hands-on, safe water activities, including water testing stations, solar-powered systems and treatment facilities. Supported by photographic depictions and colorful illustrations of the global water crisis, a domed theater and other compelling interactive elements, major themes include:

  • Water Is Life highlights the three states of water – liquid, gas and solid. It explores the uniqueness of water on Earth through powerful visuals that demonstrate why it is essential to life and how access to safe water helps humans maintain good health.
  • 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. It features the Water Challenge game to test visitors’ knowledge of safe water issues and provides other fun, educational interactive experiences.
  • Safe Water for Everyone uses augmented reality to highlight how the best technologies and plans help secure sources of safe water for populations in need. It showcases people that have risen from poverty to attain good health and well-being when provided access to safe water.

Holdorf added, “The global water crisis is too complex to solve unless a consortium of organizations and individuals work together in development and execution of a unified, strategic plan. Without it, we face inconsistent water standards, lack of monitoring and accountability, and low public awareness. The Mobile Discovery Center ties it all together and shows how we can successfully tackle these issues.”

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 mandatory use of masks for all staff and visitors, among other custom enhancements within the exhibits.