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Did you know that in our world today around 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation and some 1.2 billion people do not have access to an improved source of water? (The source for these statistics comes from the Millennium Campaign.) Goal Number 7 of the Millennium Development Goals is to ensure environmental sustainability. One of the targets for this goal is to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
I don't want to give off the impression that I am the water conservation queen. After all, I take a shower every day. I do turn off the water when brushing my teeth and I do have a toilet that uses less water, but I know I waste a lot of water. Regardless, one of my pet peeves are people/businesses that clean their sidewalks by using water. It drives me bonkers. Do you know what I'm talking about? When I walk to work everyday, I pass a series of restaurants and the employees are outside cleaning off the sidewalks in front of the business. Instead of using a broom, they use a hose and basically hose down the trash off the sidewalk. It is such a waste of water. Have we gotten so lazy in this country that we can't even use a broom and a little bit of muscle? One of the four leading causes of death among children under the age of five is dehydration. How can we clean our sidewalks with water when dehydration is a leading cause of death for kids?
This week is World Water Week. I hadn't heard of it, till I started searching for some info on water to write this blog (being prompted by my ire of the wasted water). It's held in Stockholm, Sweden and is
the leading annual global meeting place for capacity-building, partnership-building and follow-up on the implementation of international processes and programmes in water and development.
It looks like a really interesting week with topics ranging from water and trade to the role large lakes play in regional development. Anyway, given this being a week to focus on water, I thought it would be good to lift up the 1.2 billion people that don't have access to safe water. I had the opportunity to travel to Mozambique a couple of years ago. I traveled to remote areas of the country where very few people travel and where people do not have access to safe drinking water. We filtered our water on the trip, but that experience made very real some of the statistics I highlighted. Do you have a story to share about water? Perhaps you have a reflection on a time when you didn't have access to water? Let's also try to be more conscious of the water we use and try to waste a bit less this week.
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