Water. Yup, I was thinking about it today. According to “experts,” I am supposed to consume eight glasses a day to maintain my health. If this is the case, I probably should double the amount (cough, sniffle, cough). Then my mind wandered (get used to it, it’s how I roll) to Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. This sci-fi book (a favorite of mine) was published in 1993. Yet, Butler anticipated what many of us are not aware of, water as a precious commodity. Let me qualify that last statement, many people across the globe have known and are rudely reminded of that fact, each day. We, here in the States, tend to forget or ignore this growing phenomenon. Butler, through the genre of fiction, predicted what many concerned observers have taken note of; there is a grave likelihood we will experience shortages and possibly even water wars. Forget about oil occupying our global focus.
Healthy water and access to it is another related issue. About one billion people now drink contaminated water. In 2/3rd world countries, ninety percent of waste enters fresh water supplies. Talk about unsafe and nasty. Imagine the smell! India has to deal with this issue on a day-to-day basis. If you drink Coke, you might want to think twice about it. Not only is it bad for your health (remember, eight glasses of non-sugary water?), the company in India is hogging local water supplies (therefore depleting citizens of water) and was distributing its solid waste to farmers (waste filled with toxins such as lead and cadmium) to use as fertilizer. Coca Cola was finally not allowed to do this. But, they continue to use contaminated water in their Coke plants in India. This water is used to make the sugary drink. Nice, huh?
Anyway, next time we are told we can only wash our vehicles during certain times, have to run our sprinklers on specific days, and we are a little irritated when we can’t douse our flowers, we need to pause. We should be grateful, here in the U.S., for the clean water we do have to drink and bathe in. Every time we put a glass to our lips we should remember the person (we are all part of that global humanity, right?) who is crouching down to slurp sewage. This awareness can stir up agency and we could donate to an organization such as charity: water, Clean Water for Haiti, or any of the other dozens of NGO’s that help our brothers and sisters world-wide. We could shut the faucet off when we Crest freshen our breath and clean our teeth. Small actions of sustainability will help our own country (and our personal budgets through reduced water bills). Let’s give it a shot. What do we have to lose? Or more importantly, what will we gain? Health? Improved local economies? Lives saved? Corporate, global accountability?