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The Need for Clean Water – Blog Action Day 2010

This year’s Blog Action Day’s subject is water. Specifically, the need for more clean water around the world.

As a southern Californian, I have a lot of sympathy for those who don’t have water, even though we have plenty of water for our needs. We grumble about lawn watering rationing here, but that’s nothing compared to the desperate shortage of water others live with every day of their lives.

About one billion people on this planet don’t have access to safe, clean water. This results in 80% of diseases and kills more people weekly than war. This is hard to imagine, coming from a place where scarce water means to most people that their lawn turns brown – the horrors! But a lack of water is a harsh reality elsewhere.

A lack of water is a major contributor to poverty. You can’t do much if you don’t have water. You have to spend hours collecting water, and hope it doesn’t make you sick. The lack makes basic sanitation difficult.

Just think of all that water is necessary for on a daily basis. Drinking, growing food, sanitation, bathing. If you lack water, you have to prioritize which of these you can do when you get water, sometimes after walking miles to retrieve it.

There’s a question now about if access to water should be a basic human right. The UN says yes. Putting that into action and finding ways to supply water to those who don’t have it is going to be quite a challenge. It’s not a situation that can be fixed quickly, resolution or no. It’s going to take time and money to fix it. The problem has at least been recognized, and that’s the first step.

Those of us who have more access can help. First and foremost, look into charities and other organizations that are making water more accessible to communities that need it.

Also look at your own lifestyle. Water supplies are almost shamelessly wasted and polluted in many areas. That needs to change, for out own good as well as the good of others.

That means rethink your lawn. Is it the best choice and is it the right type of grass for your area? Are you using chemical fertilizers on it that wash off and end up in creeks and rivers?

Where does your water come from? Is the supply good now? Is it being overused to where there won’t be water available from that source in the future? Aquifers do dry up, as do other sources of water, when they’re overused. There are places in the United States where it’s not at all clear that water will continue to be readily available.

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