Blog Action Day on Water

October 2nd, 2010 by Events

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Blog Action Day this year focuses on water.

Why Water?

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us who are subject to preventable disease and even death because of something that many of us take for granted.

Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue. An animal welfare issue. A sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and it affects all of us.

  • Water as a Human Right: In July, the United Nations declared access to clean water and sanitation a human right over objection from the United States. Today, nearly one billion people lack basic access to safe drinking water. More Info »
  • Women: In Africa, women are predominantly responsible for collecting water. They walk over 40 billion hours each year carrying cisterns weighing up to 40 pounds to gather water for their community, which is usually still not safe to drink. More Info »
  • Polluted Oceans: Not only is pollution bad for the environment, it’s also expensive! Death and disease caused by polluted coastal waters costs the global economy $12.8 billion a year. More Info »
  • Uninhabitable Rivers: Today, 40% of America’s rivers and 46% of America’s lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life. That’s not surprising considering the fact that 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm water, and industrial waste are discharged into US waters annually. More Info »
  • Food Footprint: Do you know the water footprint of your food? For example, 75 liters of water are required to make a glass of beer and 15,500 liters to make a kilogram of beef. More Info »
  • Water Wars: Many scholar, researchers and political analysts attribute the conflict in Darfur at least in part to lack of access to water. In fact, a report commissioned by the UN Development Program found that in the 21st century, water scarcity will become one of the leading causes of conflict in Africa. More Info »
  • Technology Footprint: On an average day, 500 billion liters of water travel through US power plants to power all the technology that we use every day. For example, that shiny new iPhone in your pocket requires half a liter of water to charge. That may not seem like much, but with approximately 6.4 million active iPhones in the US, that’s 3.2 million liters to charge those alone. More Info »
  • Bottled Water: Even though people in the US have access to clean water from their taps, they drink an average of 200 bottles of water per person each year. Over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to manufacture those water bottles, 86 percent of which will never be recycled. More Info »
  • Farmers vs. Animals: As water becomes scarcer in Africa, farmers not only compete with each other but also with other animals, including elephants. Forced into close contact with farmers, elephants destroy crops and wreak havoc on agriculture, causing farmers in turn to resort to violence in order to protect their crops and water sources. More Info »
  • Children: Every week, nearly 38,000 children under the age of 5 die from unsafe drinking water and unhygienic living conditions. More Info »
  • Fashion Footprint: That cotton t-shirt you’re wearing right now took 400 gallons of water to produce, and your jeans required an extra 1800 gallons. Not wearing cotton? The dyes and synthetic fibers used to make your clothes create waste that’s among the many contributors to water pollution. More Info »
  • Water Celebrities: A number of celebrities have taken up the cause of water and water rights, including Matt Damon , Adrian Grenier , Leonardo DiCaprio , and Will & Jada Smith .
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