Blogging about #CleanWater for #BAD10
October 15, 2010 1 Comment
Today is Blog Action Day 2010, which is focused on clean water. Clean water, or rather lack thereof is a major problem. One that rarely gets talked about in the mainstream media. So really, how bad is it?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 1.8 billion gallons of water to make just one hamburger for every person in the United States.
- 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 just 10 gallons to bathe, wash your clothes, cook your meals and quench your thirst.
Pretty shocking stats. But how about this one?
The saddest part about this is that I cropped that image. From this one. Clean water for everyone in the world without access to it is the first of 15 things that would change the world. Okay maybe they wouldn’t all change the world (does everyone in America really need a “Three Wolf Moon” shirt?), but many of them would. Profoundly.
And because we are talking about water, I have to bring up one of my favorite topics. Bottled water. Also known as The Devil. I’m not going to go into a long diatribe here about why it’s evil, because Fast Company already did. It’s one of my favorite and most often cited articles.
Here is a little taste to whet your appetite:
- It is easier for the typical American in Beverly Hills or Baltimore to get a drink of safe, pure, refreshing Fiji water than it is for most people in Fiji.
- If the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000.
- We’re moving 1 billion bottles of water around a week in ships, trains, and trucks in the United States alone. That’s a weekly convoy equivalent to 37,800 18-wheelers delivering water.
And if you want to claimt that you can’t drink tap water because it doesn’t taste good, then you NEED to watch this clip: