Wednesday, March 22, 2006

World Water Day

What is the most important natural resource on our planet? Oil? Coal? Copper? Diamonds?

Hardly. There is one natural resource that everyone needs and that, my friends, is water. I am lucky because I happen to live in a part of the world that has lots and lots of water. Where I live there are lakes full of fresh water that are so big that they are sometimes called seas. I live in a state that has over 11,000 smaller inland lakes. And not only that, water falls from the sky with such regularity that I have watered my garden only during one summer of the last five.

I live in a country that is rich enough to have infrastructure that can pump the water out of a lake located 35 miles from my house, treat it for any bad things it might have (although, it doesn’t really have too many bad things in the first place), and then pump it to where I live so I can drink it, bathe in it, wash my clothes, and so on. The country I live in can then recycle around 90% of the water I use. After I use it, it is sent through pipes to a treatment plant where all the bad things are taken out and clean water is released back into the environment.

Not everyone is as lucky as I am. Today is World Water Day. It is a day to remember that not everyone has clean water to drink and not everyone has sewage treatment. That results in a lot of disease. It is a time to remember that droughts not only mean no water to drink but they mean no water for the crops and that means starvation. We need to help developing countries manage their water. We need to help by funding projects to build infrastructure for irrigation of crops and for providing clean drinking water for people. We need to help by funding projects to treat sewage and reduce disease.

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