World Water Day, Part Two: Water Scarcity

Mar 19 2012

Water is everywhere. Literally, everywhere. It’s above us, in the clouds. It’s underneath us, in the ground, in the soil, in man-made waterways. It’s all around us in rivers, streams and lakes, and in our oceans. Despite being surrounded by it every day, water is something we consistently take for granted. This apathy has led to a worldwide water crisis, the key components being food security, water scarcity and water pollution.

Water Scarcity

With water playing such a big role in our everyday lives – we drink it, we bathe in it, we use it to produce food – it’s difficult to fully imagine how much of a luxury it is in many parts of the world.

It’s never just as simple as turning on a faucet.

“As population grows and development needs call for increased allocations of water for cities, agriculture and industries,” explains Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, “the pressure on water resources intensifies, leading to tensions, conflicts among users, and excessive strain on the environment.”

These factors, along with climate change and the increased resulting droughts, put enormous strain on developing countries in particular.

Take Africa, for example. Every year, 40 billion hours are spent walking to and from the nearest water source. Most of this burden is placed on women, who walk dozens of miles carrying up to 40 gallon jugs just to provide water for their family. Many don’t have a choice, the only safe drinking water is miles away, and they need water to survive. This appalling water scarcity is largely due to the lack of clean water projects across the globe. All in all, 884 million people lack access to safe, clean drinking water – that’s approximately one in eight people worldwide!

Thankfully, there are several dedicated organizations such as water.org and charity:water who are devoted to bringing safe, clean drinking water to developing nations. They do this through building wells, latrines, and educating communities on proper sanitation practices. The goal is to make access to clean water not a gift or a luxury, but a right and a necessity for people everywhere.

Check out Seathos’ World Water Day Campaign Page for more information, tweets and videos.

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