Thinking about Water for World Water Day

note despite a charity being mentioned here, i’m not picking nor panning it, but their commercial did get me thinking.

i saw a commercial today while flipping through the channels at the airbnb in Dublin (unrelated side note: i’m pleasantly amazed at how many Irish-language programs there are):

easy water availability is something i take for granted and never think about. well, almost never: California is going through a drought and we’ve been told to reduce our usage by 20%. despite its limited supply, though, turning a faucet on and having drinkable water come out is something most of us do without a second thought, even in countries we visit where a large portion of the population has no such thing available to them.

but watching this ad really disturbed me, especially that part where a cow(?) urinates in the same water people in the following scenes take a sip out of.

some water facts from the people that made the commercial [pdf]:

  • more than 1 in 10 people do not have access to safe drinking water (768 million vs. 7.154 billion world population)
  • 1 in 3 people do not have access to a private toilet
  • 2,000 children a day die from water-related illnesses
  • in developing countries, women who are responsible for getting water walk on average 4 miles a day, with the average water load being 40 lbs that they have to carry back.

what got my gears turning more was it’s not solely a matter of hygiene, sanitation, and safety (although those are important). the time and energy spent just getting water could be better used for education and being otherwise more productive.

so yes, what you do with this information is up to you, but i felt compelled to share these statistics which shed light on something i never would otherwise have thought about.

p.s. UN World Water Day is March 22!

p.p.s my favorite water-related picture is this waterman refilling his pouch from a public water source/bathroom in Fes, Morocco:

Fes - Medina - Water Man Filling Up

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