Blog Action Day 2010: Water
Today is Blog Action Day 2010. The topic this year is Water.
Today I got up and brushed my teeth, flushed my toilet and washed my hands.
“The average toilet uses 8 litres of clean water in a single flush.” Source
“Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war.” Source
“Currently, a staggering 2.6 billion people live without a safe toilet.” Source
Today I showered and gave my son a bath.
“90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable.” Source
“An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than a typical person in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.” Source
Today I did the dishes.
“In Africa, women are predominantly responsible for collecting water. They walk over 40 billion hours each year carrying cisterns weighing up to 40 pounds to gather water for their community, which is usually still not safe to drink.” Source
“On average, women in Africa and Asia have to walk 3.7 miles to collect water.” Source
Today I drank more than 8 glasses of clean tap water.
“Polluted drinking waters are a problem for about half of the world’s population. Each year there are about 250 million cases of water-based diseases, resulting in roughly 5 to 10 million deaths.” Source
“884 million people lack access to safe drinking water.” Source
Today I turned my lights on, used a stove, and had power for my computer.
“In the United States alone, on just one average day, more than 500 billion liters of freshwater travel through the country’s power plants—more than twice what flows through the Nile.” Source
“A single Google search takes about half a milliliter of water. Just a few drops, really. But the 300 million searches we do a day take 150 000 liters. That’s a thousand bathtubs of water to power the data centers that handle the world’s idle curiosity.” Source
Today, like most days, I didn’t really think about the amount of water I was using.
"A typical individual in the United States uses 500 litres of water each day… The recommended daily water requirement for sanitation, bathing, cooking and consumption is approximately 50 litres per person per day… Over 1 billion people use less than 6 litres of water per day.” Source
Sort of puts things in perspective doesn’t it?
Honestly, though I see these numbers and the disparity between my water use and the water availability for the poorest of the poor and I feel lost as to what to do about it. I have a hard time seeing how me taking a shorter shower will really help. It seems like that just makes it so that the water plant in my area will have more water, but it doesn’t really help anyone who really needs the water. Here are some ways that we can help those who actually do need the water though:
- Take a stand and support clean water everywhere by signing this petition supporting the United Nations work to improve water and sanitation for billions.
- Raise money to help build a well in Africa through Charity: Water. All of the money you raise goes to people in need and within 12-18 months they will send you a picture and other documentation about the well that was built with the money you raised.
Here are some ways you can donate money to bring clean water to those who need it most through these other great non-profit organizations:
Here is a short prayer I wrote on behalf of those living with unclean water, or no water at all:
Living Water, Breath of God, we all need water in order to live and prosper, we ask you to send rain to those places which are in drought, And send workers to those places which are in need. Living Water, Breath of God, teach us how each of us can bring your kingdom to those who are thirsty. show us how we can give a cup of water to a stranger who needs it. Living water, Breath of God, we recognize that many die needlessly because of water issues, And we ask that this would not continue. May those of us who have abundant water not waste it, but instead may we recognize that every drop is a gift and remember that there are many who don’t have access to clean water at all. May those of us who have abundant water seek out ways that we can provide water for those who do not. Living Water, Breath of God, make us into water bearers who carry life giving water into the world. In Jesus name, Amen.
Rejoicing in the journey -