"Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all."
Today I woke up to water everywhere!
Rain was bucketing down, the streets flooding, small waterfalls streaming off the roof, and the sprinklers going off in the yard...( time to buy a rain sensor...)! We have not had rain for several months, and the ground has been parched and hard, the grass yellow or nonexistent in places. Here, in Dallas, we are grateful for the rain, and it reminds me that in many parts of the world, they are not so fortunate. California is into it's umpteenth year of drought, and water restrictions are widespread. There are parts of the world where the land is so parched that nothing will grow, the land is eroding, and where clean water is a luxury. Whole communities are at risk because of insufficient safe potable water. People are dying because there is a lack of water to drink, to wash, for toilets, for crops, for cooking, for medical use.
The water crisis is the #1 global risk based on impact to society, as announced by the World Economic Forum in January 2015.
- According to http://water.org, water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases, kill nearly 1 million people each year.
- 663 million people - 1 in 10 - lack access to safe water.
- 2.4 billion people - 1 in 3 - lack access to a toilet.
- More people have a mobile phone than a toilet.
- Globally, 1/3 of all schools and health care facilities lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
- Every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease.
In many countries, women are responsible for finding and fetching water for their families. They walk for miles; it is back breaking work, and often they pay dearly for sources of clean water. Often the sources are contaminated, and they face a terrible choice, drinking contaminated water, or certain death if they do not drink at all.
In Africa and Asia, women and children walk an average of 3.7 miles a day just to collect water. In fact, statistics prove that Women and children bear the primary responsibility for collecting water, and spend an average of 6 hours a day, (125 million hours each day globally), collecting water for their families.
Insufficient water supplies can be blamed for malnutrition, stunting growth, and disease, and the arduous collection process interferes with time that should otherwise be spent in education, working, and learning new skills.
The impact is huge.
Women and girls in particular suffer from the effects of poor sanitation. Often they are not allowed to relieve themselves during the work or school day, or they have no where to go to the toilet, and so the impact on their urinary systems and bowel habits is detrimental, not to mention the indignity.
Eventually many girls drop out of school because of the lack of sanitation and privacy. These two main aspects of the water crisis - lack of water, and sanitation, keep women locked into a viscous circle of poverty.
They cannot earn an income if they are not educated.
Water.org works to improve the water supply and sanitation in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, by partnering with local organizations, an sustainably improving the lives of more than three million men, women and children.
The website http://water.org will give you more information and tell you how you can help if you are interested.
I should have read the forecast, and turned off the sprinkler.
We leave faucets dripping, and don't fix toilets when they should be fixed.
Even the local water authorities "bleed" the pipes when there has been a lot of rain, and the water goes to waste.
There are many ways in which you can personally save water, but rather than preach at you with ways in list form, I am going to attempt to summarize in poetry format for fun.
So here goes......
Water water everywhere,
but not a drop to drink
when washing up your dishes,
use a stopper in the sink
Don't leave the faucet running
to brush your teeth or shave
turn off the tap and do your share
to cut the waste and save
Use organic matter
to increase soil retention,
and rain barrels can be hooked up
to an irrigation system
Don't leave the sprinkler running
when it's raining, or it's hot
you'll just be wasting water
and evaporate the lot
If toilets keep on flushing
then swap out your leaky throne,
or install a new ker-flaption
(I've done it on my own...)
Take shorter showers and time them
and just for a savvy laugh
limit teenagers in your bathroom
and you'll cut your bills by half!
The glass of water you re about to drink
Deserves a second thought, I think.
For Avogadro, oceans and those you follow
Are all involved in every swallow.
The molecules of water in a single glass
In number, at least five times, outclass
The glasses of water in stream and sea,
Or wherever else that water can be.
The water in you is between and betwixt,
And having traversed is thoroughly mixed,
So someone quenching a future thirst
Could easily drink what you drank first!
The water you are about to taste
No doubt represents a bit of waste
From prehistoric beast and bird
A notion you may find absurd.
The fountain spraying in the park
Could well spout bits of Joan of Arc,
Or Adam, Eve, and all their kin;
You d be surprised where your drink has been!
Just think! The water you cannot retain
Will some day hence return as rain,
Or be held as the purest dew.
Though long ago it passed through you!
Written by Verne N. Rockcastle
PART II from the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1834
The Sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.
And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariner's hollo!
And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!
Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.
And some in dreams assurèd were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.
Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
Leonardo da Vinci
Have a wonderful weekend.