Nothing moves westerners more than video or photographs from any third world country where the water supplies are tainted. 80% of the world's population lives in areas where the fresh water supply is not secure. It seems there are water crises everywhere: in the Philippines, Manila is struggling to provide its swelling population with H20. Blog Novas da Guiné Bissau links to the video Bafatá Misti Iagu (Bafatá Wants Water), describing a project that promotes the access to the precious fluid for 22,000 city residents. South Africa is the first country to have incentive-based regulation for municipal water treatment, to encourage accountability and transparency.
Not that North Americans and Western European water sources aren't without their own pathogens, politics and other water-borne problems (here and here)... and especially here!
In the US, not a second thought is given to "letting the water run until it's hot (or cold)" or laying the hose down while the water is still pouring through to run and answer the phone. The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world.
Is the world water supply in jeopardy? Technically, no, there's plenty out there - not unless global warming starts boiling the oceans, not likely to happen in our lifetimes. Logistically, getting H20 to the places where it is needed most is the biggest challenge. Ethically, private enterprise could prove to be a monumental threat: Access to water may be the most important political and environmental issue of the century.In her thought-provokinging 5 years-in-the- making documentary entitled "FLOW: For the Love of Water" ---
Irena Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world's fresh water supply through interviews with scientists and activists, and "introduces many of the governmental and corporate culprits behind the global water grab." Indeed, banks are already getting involved: The World Bank is supporting the Nigerian Government to provide potable water supply to urban residents in Lagos and Cross River states.
For developed countries and the Bric group - Brazil, Russia, India and China - alone, "$800bn per year will be required by 2015 to cover investments in water infrastructure, a target likely to go unmet."
So, what will happen with water? Instead of WAITING to find out, it's time for YOU, whoever you are, wherever you are, to be more active when it comes to water issues in your community. And look beyond your own place, support global initiatives to support clean water and to keep it flowing FREEly.
Tags: Blog Action Day 2010, Blog Action Day 2010