Today is World Water Day. It’s a big one for me. I hold it near and dear to my heart. You see, I’ve always been a mermaid. As a child I wanted to be a marine biologist. I know, common, but it was real for me. Except we lived in Southern Ontario and I wasn’t yet ready to stretch my wings and fly far from home, so life took a different path. Fast forward years later, and my hubbie and I are raising our family in Coastal North Carolina…because we needed to be near the ocean. It calls us. It heals us. It runs through our veins.
Since moving to the coast, water conservation and awareness has become so much more a part of our everyday life and dialect. We spend hour after hour learning and talking about sea creatures. We don’t use plastic straws or water bottles. We are growing a lawn and garden that won’t require irrigation. We’re doing our part and improving on that every day. And we are blessed. We are surrounded by water everywhere we look. We have access to clean drinking water. Not all are so lucky.
Can you imagine a life where clean water doesn’t exist?
Close your eyes for a moment and think about what that would look like for you. How would you clean, bathe, drink? Can you imagine that?
Let’s take a look at some numbers from the UN:1
- 2.1 billion people live without safe water at home.
- One in four primary schools have no drinking water service, with pupils using unprotected sources or going thirsty.
- More than 700 children under five years of age die every day from diarrhea linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.
- Globally, 80% of the people who have to use unsafe and unprotected water sources live in rural areas.
- Women and girls are responsible for water collection in eight out of ten households with water off-premises.
- For the 68.5 million people who have been forced to flee their homes, accessing safe water services is highly problematic.
- Around 159 million people collect their drinking water from surface water, such as ponds and streams.
- Around 4 billion people – nearly two-thirds of the world’s population – experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year.
- 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.
The theme of this year’s World Water Day is “Leaving no one behind”. Because everyone has the right to safe water and sanitation.
Young, old, rich, poor, sick, healthy. EVERYONE!
Sadly, it is often marginalized groups that suffer most in terms of their ability to access safe water. The UN put if perfectly when they said
“We cannot move forward as a global society while so many people
are living without safe water”2
Today, as you go about your life, take a moment. Let the reality of the global water situation sink in. Let your heart open to those that are not blessed with the life giving force that is water.
And then think, what can I do? What can we all do? How can we solve this problem?
Because we are one global community, and water scarcity
is something no one should have to live with.