Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day 2010 ::: The Resource We Take For Granted

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.

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  1. Hi Dave - it's a great initiative - thanks for posting. We agree that the value of freshwater ecosystems is so often taken for granted.

    You might be interested to see our blog on freshwater biodiversity for the event (and previous blog on the Vorosmarty et al paper the water security map is from), at:

    Rob @ BioFresh

  2. Very true--we take water for granted! Like taking months before fixing a leaky tap, etc.!

  3. And thank YOU for shedding important light to a key issue. Glad we're all together in this.

  4. Very important post! Well done! I like how you try to inform and activate your readers. We can do so much by reaching outside our realms, especially when calling in or writing to our representatives to insist on better policies. How we spend our dollars too. ;>)

  5. Thanks, Dave. Important (and true) stuff here!

    Where I live, in the great lakes area, people are incredibly wasteful of water.

  6. Thanks for spreading the word about Water, Dave.

  7. Good post, Dave! Though it's scary that the 'free' advertising on your blog was for Deer Park water and how it's better than filtered tap water!


  8. Excellent post! I especially like the last part ... that we should each take a look beyond our own places! Perhaps if we all did that, we could make changes so that everyone, worldwide, has clean water.

  9. Hi Dave!
    We should fight against privatization of water resources. Access to fresh, clean water is a basic human right. Great article, thanks!

  10. Thanks for a great post! It is important to keep in mind that the logistics and corporate interests are two of the biggest challenges.

    Your readers may also enjoy the images I gathered from the Flickr Commons showing ways that water has been moved around over the past century.

  11. Hi Dave
    If people realised more the intrinsic value of water to people, economies and eco-systems they would value it more and be less inclined to squander it.
    Excellent post and good going on helping spread the word on Blog Action Day 2010.

  12. Very informative Dave, we should all think about how much water we waste a day in comparison to the people who don't have access to it.
    I've written a post in participation to this event that can inform us of the dangers of not having access to treated water facilities. Thanks for sharing.

  13. I'm feeling hopeful today, with so many bloggers joining forces. Those of us in the Western world need to be snapped out of our cozy cocoons from time to time, and reminded what really matters. Thanks for your part in that - you raise so many important issues!

  14. Great post! I am honored to be participating in such a worthy cause!

  15. Awesome post, very informative, thank you!

  16. This weekend, Saturday October 16, 2010 don’t miss your opportunity to hear Ben Rattray CEO of and our very own Jeremy Anticouni on Make It Work Radio discussing Blog Action Day and its role in shaping the vast and diverse culture of the internet. Tune in at 1pm PST on KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO, 3pm PST on KSFO 560 and streaming live at

  17. Thanks for spreading the word about this topic. I really do think more people need to be aware of their environment and not take it for granted.

  18. Thanks for writing about this important issue. Water waste in the US is a huge issue, and we haven't even really mentioned corporate agricultural misuse of water. Lots to think about!

  19. So, what will happen with water? Instead of WAITING to find out, it's time for YOU - That is right. I totally agree.


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