Like electricity, water is one of those commodities that you take for granted. You arrive at the office, push a button and the computer is on. You get home, flick a switch, and the light is on. You don’t spend time wondering anymore about how electricity powers up every appliance and device that you use. You expect it to be that way. It’s a given.
You open a faucet, and you expect water to come out. Are you cooking food? No problem. Like electricity, water or clean water is something that is expected. The only difference is you could probably live without electricity but not without water.
You saw on the news the story about Greta Thunberg, the environmental activist who learned about climate change while she was still in grade school. You’re suddenly inspired. You’re interested in the issue of access to clean water. You want to help and want to convince others in your company to help, too. Would donating an old model of your company’s progressive cavity pump help provide access to clean water? What can you do?
The following ideas can get you started:
A Background on Clean Water
Access to clean water and sanitation is the UN’s sustainable development goal number six. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said in the 2010 general assembly that reducing poverty in the world is tied to access to clean water and sanitation.
Around the world, more than 780 million people do not have access to clean water. Children are the most vulnerable. More than 800,000 children in developing countries die from diseases like diarrhea.
Also, an estimated 4.2 billion people do not have access to toilets or latrines that safely dispose of human waste.
What You Can Do
There are small and significant ways to contribute to the global water issue. Here are some things that you can consider:
- Don’t take water for granted. Now that you know that there’s a water crisis around the world, start changing your habits. Do the little things, like don’t keep the faucet running while shaving. Track your water footprint using this tool and reduce your consumption.
- Work with established organizations. Individual efforts need to be harnessed for it to create the required impact. By working with organizations that have concrete projects on the ground, your support will matter more. See how you can work with organizations like Water.org and WaterAid. They have a “donate” button on their websites. These organizations have projects in different countries, like digging wells, installing faucets, or providing toilets. Find out if you can also donate equipment that can be used to extract water from the ground. They likely accept volunteers to help with their projects.
- Support local water issues. Remember Flynt, MI? Wells were poisoned, and now people are sick and dying. You can support medical initiatives in situations like Flynt. Get informed and see how you can assist communities that have difficulties accessing clean water.
These are just three ideas, but they can create a ripple that will improve access to clean water globally.