Friday, October 15, 2010

blog action day 2010

water.  necessary to all forms of life.  we take it for granted, because it's just there.  you turn the faucet on and there it is.   but what if it weren't just magically there?  what if you had to work really hard to get it?  some places in the world, that's a reality.  and other places the water isn't safe to drink.

my household is a little different than most.  we live out in the country, and we haul in our water.  meaning, there are no water lines on our road, so we don't have access to any water unless we bring it in.  so we do.  every other day or two my honey drives into town and plugs quarters into the water machine.  and sticks the big hose in the big tank in the back of the truck.  drives home and sticks the smaller hose into the pipe that leads to our cistern.  and repeat.  right now, it's not that big of a deal, but once these four kids get older and are taking one or two showers a day, this could become a big pain in the patootie.

water has recently become available to us.  we'd have to pay to run the water lines through rocky ground, buy a water meter, and then pay $50 a month for the luxury.  approx. a $12K project, from all estimates. so not really feasible.  i'm not complaining, we chose to move here and we love it.  i'm just reminding you of the things we take for granted sometimes.  like readily accessible, affordable water.

To get the conversation about water started, we wanted to send out five 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 continue to work tirelessly to bring water access to the developing world. 

(excerpted from an email i received from the blog action day team.)
amazing that i didn't know any of that.  why do i know more about celebrities and their shopping sprees than that women are having to walk carrying 40 pounds of water?!  shameful.  and i know that our household is more conservative than most about wasting water.  we don't let the faucets run.  we don't water our yard or wash our cars.  because when we run out, we run out.  we don't plant a garden because the cost of hauling in the water to sustain it is more than the savings on fresh veggies. 

but there's more we can do.  like rain barrels to catch water for the plants.  and wearing our clothes another time before tossing them in the hamper.  simple things.  i hope you will challenge yourself to try to make a difference, no matter how small.


Nikki said...

Thank you for sharing this. :) I knew I liked you from the very start. :D

Lauranie said...

AMAZING!! I knew NONE of this either! Including the fact that you bring in water! It sounds like a pain, but what a really good lesson for your children. We are really wasteful and THAT should definitely CHANGE! Thanks for giving me a reality check! :) xo


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