One of the first things we do when we land in a developing country is to secure our drinking water. Most countries like Guatemala do not filter their tap water so it can be full of parasites and bacteria. We need to use filtered water even to brush our teeth and remember to close our mouth when taking a shower.
During the dry season in Guatemala, it doesn’t really rain for six months. Farmers pump water from the lake to water their crops and there are water basins holding water to clean dishes and clothes with.
I think about how it is a luxury and a privilege to be able to twist the tap and have fresh clean water gushing out into the sink.
It saddens me that even though we are connected by the web and have brilliant people working with high technology we still lack access to clean water for millions of people around the world.
The UN estimates that more than 663 million people( 1 in 8 people) do not have access to clean water. This number is expected to grow by 50% by 2030.
So many people around the world spend countless hours waiting in line or trekking to distant sources for water, and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water. This year’s theme for World Water Day is Why waste water? How can we improve water quality by reducing, treating and reusing wastewater?
Globally, the vast majority of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature without being treated or reused – polluting drinking and bathing and irrigation and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.
Reducing and safely treating and reusing wastewater, for example in agriculture and aquaculture, protects workers, farmers and consumers while promoting food security, health and wellbeing.
Installing greywater systems for our home and yard is a great way to reuse wastewater. This article By Derek Markham in TreeHugger gives you great tips on how you can reuse greywater.
The necessity for clean water struck a cord deep within me 17 years ago when we went traveling in India and Nepal. Things haven’t changed much. In fact, in some cases it has gotten worse. I pray that within my lifetime we will see a world where we can share resources and everyone can have access to clean water.
May all sentient beings be healthy,
May all sentient beings be happy,
May all sentient beings have access to clean water.
-written by Haruka Oatis