Today is World Water Day.
March 22nd is a day to celebrate clean water, but unfortunately over 884 million people worldwide lack access to clean water. That’s approximately 1 in 8 people, or 3x the population of the United States! What’s more disgusting is the fact than more people have cell phones than a toilet!
In the United States we take water for granted. In most parts of the country water is in abundance. We have large pools filled with water, lush green 18-hole golf courses in the middle of the desert in Arizona, large lakes in Maine filled with edible fish and water in many areas of the country that we can drink from the faucet. Many areas in world DO NOT have access to clean water. Without water there is no life. We live in a society that is very fast-paced and material driven. We freely spend our money on bottled mineral water than costs $5 a liter when we can use a reusable bottle filled with tap water that is essentially the same!
Here are some water facts provided by Water.org:
· 3.575 million people die every year from water-related illnesses! That is the equivalent of the entire population of Los Angeles.
· An American taking a 5 minute shower a day uses more water than a person living in a developing country slum uses in a typical day.
· One child dies every 20 seconds from a water-related disease.
· Investment in safe drinking water and sanitation contributes to economic growth in a country. The WHO estimates that for each $1 invested there is a return on $3-$34 depending on the region and technology.
· Investment in drinking-water and sanitation would result in 272 million more school attendance days a year!
· In just one day over 200 million hours are consumed by women collect water for their families! That is equivalent to building 28 Empire State building a day!
As a biochemist, graduate public health student, aspiring nutritionist, and an endurance athlete I understand the importance of water. Without water there is no life on this planet. Unfortunately, many people in developed countries take water for granted. Many also choose to consume unhealthy beverages, such as energy drinks, soda, alcohol, and specialty coffee drinks. Having these items every once in a while is okay, but many choose one or even more of these a day! Not only do these items contribute to the rising obesity rate, but they are costly! For $25 you can give a person in a developing country water for LIFE! Forgo your daily Red Bull or Starbucks latte for a week and give someone a life through clean water! Not only is it healthy for your body, but you will feel good about your decision to change someone’s life!
Now, if you’re lucky enough to be out enjoying this very rare 80 degree sunny day in March in Maine, pounding the pavement on your legs or bike, you’ll probably need to take a cold drink of water or sports drink so you don’t get dehydrated. As you take that refreshing sip, remember that there is close to ONE BILLION people who do not have access to clean water across the globe!
For more information on World Water Day, the water crisis, or to donate check out:
Please watch this short video on the water crisis:
Remember: Water = Life!