World Water Day is a day to draw attention to the facts: 783 million people, or 11% of the world’s population, do not have safe water to drink; this, coupled with poor sanitation, results in 2,000 children dying every day. Check out our earlier post on WaterAid and learn about and share information with the kids in your life about some of the amazing programs WaterAid offers to counter this difficult and challenging reality.Fresh water accounts for less then 3% of all the water on the globe and access to clean, uncontaminated drinking water is unavailable to almost 1/6th of the world’s population. Millions of women are unable to work and millions of children are unable to go to school, because they spend so much time collecting water. Climate change impacts including changing levels of rainfall, decreasing runoff from glaciers, drought and smaller levels of snow pack are all contributing to making fresh water less available and more of a scarce commodity. In the United States at the end of 2012, 60% of the continental US was experiencing severe drought conditions. Water management and monitoring both for agriculture and drinking water are under serious review.
Most developing countries have very low per capita carbon footprints yet they feel the effects of global warming and it’s impacts on clean drinking water most significantly. Global warming has no boundaries. The US produces close to 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions which don’t stay “over the USA” but contribute to climate change the world over. So while the impacts of water scarcity may be more visible in other parts of the world, this is OUR problem and we need to be part of the solution.
Water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty. WaterAid helps the world’s poorest people to plan, build and manage their own safe water supplies and to improve their sanitation and hygiene. These basic services transform lives. Hours spent carrying water can instead be spent with family, tending crops, raising livestock or starting a business. Simple changes to sanitation and hygiene practices save thousands of babies’ lives and keep children in school. WaterAid’s new short video Water is Just the Beginning, explores the ways safe water changes lives. Grab the kids in your life and watch it together.
Talk to your kids about how YOU and your family can help. Things that may be easy for us in most places in North America (turning on the tap and getting fresh, clean water for example) can be so very difficult for families in other places around the world. Remind your kids about how fortunate they are and what things they wouldn’t be able to do (play lacrosse, soccer, dance, draw, play video games!) if they had to spend hours each day collecting water for their family.
How you can help today:
1. Follow WaterAid America on Twitter and Facebook and share their posts on the #20ways that water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty.
2. Join the World Water Day Google+ Hangout at 1.30pm EST on March 22 – WaterAid and other water organizations will be discussing the world water crisis and solutions in a celebration moderated by YouTube star Justine Ezarik.
3. Make a donation: as experts in practical, hands-on water solutions WaterAid has brought clean water to 17.5 million people. But they need your help to achieve their aim of helping 1.4 million more people this year.
“As we live climate change access to clean, potable water will become the greatest challenge confronting the human race. World Water Day helps us put the focus squarely on this scarce and critical resource.”