Go to fullsize imageAah, delicious water!  It’s cool.  It’s refreshing.  It’s easy to serve.  With a lemon or ice, it always tastes nice. (You guessed it, we are working on rhyming over here at our house.)  As much as I love sodas, wine or juice, there is nothing that I crave more when I am really thirsty.  I just go to the sink and turn on the tap.  It is seldom that I think of how lucky I am to have the priviledge to just immediately quench this thirst for water. 

I tend to forget that more than 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean and safe drinking water.  How would it affect your life?  You couldn’t just turn on that tap.  You couldn’t get one of those bottles of water that you pay the big bucks for.  You have NO access to safe drinking water.  What would you do?  How would you feel?  What if where you lived lacked basic sanitation needs?  Would you worry constantly for your children’s health and safety?

 Well, there are many who live without.  More people than you might think have to worry everyday about obtaining water and basic sanitation.

How many people know that, in 2002:

1.1 billion people lacked access to improved water sources (tap water in the house or yard from public distribution systems, protected wells and springs, public stand posts, rain water collection), which represented 17% of the global population.

2.6 billion (42% of the world population) lacked access to basic sanitation.

Of the 1.1 billion without access to improved water sources, nearly two thirds live in Asia.

1.8 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases (including cholera); 90% are children under 5, mostly in developing countries.

80% of the population without access to drinking-water were rural dwellers, but future population growth will be mainly urban. 

How many of us know that we are now in a “Water for Life Decade” or that March 22, 2008 is “World Water Day”?  Yes, that’s right.  The United Nations has adopted March 22 as World Water day and the decade of 2005-2015 as Water for Life Decade.   Now is your chance to raise awareness for an issue that reaches into every corner of the world. 

We are ever aware of water issues in my home.  For one, our water bill keeps going up, up, up since we keep adding to our family numbers.  Secondly, we have always lived within a short drive or walk to Lake Michigan, one of the most amazing bodies of freshwater ever.  Third, I am a biologist who has a special little spot in my heart for plants and ecology (especially wetland ecology).  Fourth, Tomas majored in Hydrogeology (ground water stuff) and sees groundwater issues everyday from his environmental consulting work.  He loves to go into schools and teach kids about pollution and the water supply.  We just love water and HATE to see it wasted or misused.  Over the next couple days, I am going to help to explain how our water supply needs attention and also how you can go green, green, green when dealing with the blue stuff.

Surfs up dude!  Let’s hang ten together on this one!

Find out more about World Water Day here:  http://www.worldwaterday.org/