Water is a curious thing. We love and cherish it. We are concerned for keeping it safe and clean. We recognize how vital it is to our lives and prosperity, but yet we still waste immense quantities of it. We let water run while we brush our teeth. We wash cars, decks and garage floors with it. We do a very poor job of minimizing our own water use, and we do very little, if anything to capture the massive bounty of storm water that our rains provide.
Perhaps we would be better stewards if we lived in places where we had no ability to just turn on a faucet and expect clean, safe, fresh water to come out. The article linked at the end of this post is a real eye-opener to just how much we take water for granted. A few of the bullet points that really touched me follow below.
- 40% of Ugandans have to travel 30 minutes or more to get safe water
- 30% of people in Nepal have no sanitary provisions and go to the bathroom in public areas. Water contamination is a way of life.
- 66% of the water in Bhutan is contaminated and is not drinkable
- 21% is the percentage of Congo residents who have access to clean water.
- 75% of Mexicans drink packaged water
How can this be? How can it be that so much US water infrastructure is old and beginning to fail? How can water be so important, but only get our attention when it is gone or contaminated?America needs a national water policy. The world needs a global water policy.