It’s the Water, Stupid
October 15, 2010
It’s Blog Action Day, and that’s a very good thing. Bloggers all over the world, including this blogger, are educating themselves about water: who has it, who doesn’t, and why it matters.
Three points stand out to me.
- People who live as I do—in the US, in a house with indoor plumbing (Don’t laugh! It’s not that common worldwide.)—use much too much water. We take water for granted, I believe. That’s why I recommend that you take five minutes of your time to use the Water Footprint Calculator. By answering a group of questions about your water usage, you will learn where you fit into the big picture. I found out that my family uses about 200 gallons less per day than the average family—but, no cause for applause there, since we still use 943 gallons per day! I also learned some tips for how we can lower that number, such as installing low-flow shower heads and faucets.
- People who live in developing countries, such as Africa, don’t have enough water, especially clean water. They aren’t in a position to be thinking about low-flow shower heads; they’re too busy walking miles each day to the nearest source of water, just so they can walk miles back home while carrying it. And, unlike mine, their water has a great chance of being contaminated. According to charity:water, “Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.” People living under these conditions need an immediate solution, and I think the best one is a village well. You can find out about how to help a struggling community get one.
- The people like me, with water to spare, and the people who desperately need water, are related. By cutting down on my water use, I can help keep the environment clean, save energy resources, and save money. With the money I save, I can help people who are in imminent danger of dying because of water-related illnesses. My low-flow faucet for their well. What’s the key to improving the lives of the many? The key to preventing 80 percent of their deaths? It’s the water, stupid.
Now, sign the petition from Change.org.