Thanks to Blog Action Day
In New Mexico we are especially aware of the critical need for water and water conservation. While we're working diligently on the problem and solutions, nearly 1 billion people around the world lack access to clean water, which causes a litany of struggles, diseases and even death.
- 40 Billion Hours: African women walk over 40 billion hours each year carrying cisterns weighing up to 18 kilograms to gather water, which is usually still not safe to drink.
- 38,000 Children a Week: Every week, nearly 38,000 children under the age of 5 die from unsafe drinking water and unhygienic living conditions.
- Wars Over Water: Many scholars attribute the conflict in Darfur at least in part to lack of access to water. A report commissioned by the UN found that in the 21st century, water scarcity will become one of the leading causes of conflict in Africa.
- A Human Right: In July, to address the water crisis, the United Nations declared access to clean water and sanitation a human right over. But we are far from implementing solutions to secure basic access to safe drinking water.
The good news is that there are great organizations working on solutions and new tools that empower people to do their part to address the water crisis. As reported last week, here in New Mexico we're working on using brackish water in southern New Mexico to grow algae in order to produce a clean biofuel. Here are some other solutions.
- Building Wells: Organizations like Water.org and charity: water are leading the charge in bringing fresh water to communities in the developing world.
- Technology for Good: Do you want to measure how much water it took to make your favorite foods? There's an app for that.
- Conservation Starts at Home: The average person uses 465 liters of water per day. Find out how much you use and challenge your readers to do that same.
- Keeping Rivers Clean: We can all take small steps to help keep pollution out of our rivers and streams, like correctly disposing of household wastes.
- Drop the Bottle: Communities around the world are taking steps to reduce water bottle waste by eliminating bottled water. You can do it too.