15 October 2010

Blog Action Day 2010

Blog Action Day is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. This year, the issue is Water.

Some facts that illustrate the severity of the global water problem and why we think Blog Action Day 2010 is such an important opportunity to raise awareness about the issue:

1. Unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Unclean drinking water can incubate some pretty scary diseases, like E. coli, salmonella, cholera and hepatitis A. Given that bouquet of bacteria, it's no surprise that water, or rather lack thereof, causes 42,000 deaths each week.

2. More people have access to a cell phone than to a toilet. Today, 2.5 billion people lack access to toilets. This means that sewage spills into rivers and streams, contaminating drinking water and causing disease.

3. Every day, women and children in Africa walk a combined total of 109 million hours to get water. They do this while carrying cisterns weighing around 40 pounds when filled in order to gather water that, in many cases, is still polluted. Aside from putting a great deal of strain on their bodies, walking such long distances keeps children out of school and women away from other endeavors that can help improve the quality of life in their communities.

4. It takes 6.3 gallons of water to produce just one hamburger. That 6.3 gallons covers everything from watering the wheat for the bun and providing water for the cow to cooking the patty and baking the bun. And that's just one meal! It would take over 184 billion gallons of water to make just one hamburger for every person in the United States.

5. The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world. From showering and washing our hands to watering our lawns and washing our cars, Americans use a lot of water. To put things into perspective, the average five-minute shower will use about 10 gallons of water. Now imagine using that same amount to bathe, wash your clothes, cook your meals and quench your thirst.

While these facts may be grim, there is hope for real solutions as more and more people around the world are waking up to the clean water crisis. Earlier this year, the UN declared access to clean water a human right and groups like charity: water and Water.org continue to work tirelessly to bring water access to the developing world.

Also, think about how you relate to water. Our water is a very precious resource that most of us have taken for granted. We know that when we turn on the faucet, flush the toilet, turn on the hose, that water will appear. But there are millions who do not have that luxury. Instead of taking your water for granted every day, and yes, you use or drink it every day, be grateful for your water and your water moments. Whenever you have a water moment, washing your hands, flushing the toilet, taking a shower, watering your garden, take a moment and STOP, TAKE A BREATH, and SAY THANK YOU, WATER!

It will take all of one moment to appreciate the beauty and the splendor of having clean, accessible drinking water – at the turn of a knob. And, it will create a moment of peace in your day.

Love your precious resources and be grateful for water!

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