Sunday, March 22, 2009

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day and I for one, am thankful each and every day that I have access to clean water. Are you?

Clean water to many is a privilege and not a right for many people around the world. Americans, like most people in the developed world, simply take it for granted. You know that when you go to the sink and turn on the water knob, clean water will flow, and flow, and flow. This may be the way it is today, but there is a serious water crisis and it may one day affect you personally, so take nothing for granted.

Millions of people around the world do not have access to clean water. Hard to believe, isn't it? When I say millions of people I mean nearly 900 million people. Yikes! That means almost one out of every 6 people lacks clean water. I bet you didn't know that lack of clean water is the second largest killer of children under the age of five.

So how did World Water Day begin? According to the World Water Day website, the international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. The UN designated March 22 of each year as the World Day for Water by adopting a resolution and invited countries from the globe to devote the day to the conservation and development of water resources, thereby raising awareness of the global water crisis.

The theme of this years World Water Day is "Shared Water-Shared Opportunities", so the special focus will be on transboundary waters - waters that cross borders and link us together. The message here is that no matter where you live, upstream or downstream, we are all in the same boat. Water should not be a money-making commodity, held by few people who literally hold it hostage for so many. Water is a basic human right and everyone, everywhere should have access to it.

If you didn't know there was a global water crisis, now you do. If you wonder what you can do to help, you can begin at home. Use less water every day. How? Don't run the water when you brush your teeth. Use your dishwasher (if you have one) instead of washing dishes by hand. Purchase a high efficiency washing machine. Purchase a rain barrel to collect rain water that can be used to water plants. Install a gray water system in your house. Take your car to a car wash instead of washing it yourself. The list just goes on and on.

Please do not take clean water for granted. There may come a day in the not too distant future when you may not have access to clean water. Take steps now to prevent this from happening. Educate yourself and others to the crisis at hand, and as always, be part of the solution, not the problem.

No comments: