World Water Day, You and WaterAid America

4NJlpMarch 22, 2014 is World Water Day, a day established by the United Nations to look at water issues around the world. As part of the Global Team of 200 and Mom Bloggers for Social Good, we are supporting and using our collective voices to raise attention to this important Day. As well, we want to let you know abut some of the amazing organizations and voices that work every day to change people lives by providing programs, actions and education on access to clean water. One of these organizations is WaterAid.

World Water Day is a day to draw attention to the facts:

• 768 million people in the world today do not have access to safe drinking water — roughly 1 in 10 of the world’s population.
• 1 in 3 people worldwide do not have access to a safe, private toilet.
• Around 2,000 children die every day from water related diseases.
• Women in developing countries typically walk an average distance of 4 miles each day on her trek for water. A typical jerry can of water weighs 40 pounds.
• According to the world bank: $220 billion would be added to the global economy each year if we were to provide toilets and sanitation to everyone currently with-out it.
• Just $25 can help one person access a lasting supply of safe water. Check out our earlier post on WaterAid and learn about and share information with the kids in your life about some of the amazing programs WaterAid offers to counter this difficult and challenging reality.

Credit: WaterAid used with permission

Fresh water accounts for less then 3% of all the water on the globe and access to clean, uncontaminated drinking water is unavailable to almost 1/6th of the world’s population. Millions of women are unable to work and millions of children are unable to go to school, because they spend so much time collecting water.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Climate change impacts including changing levels of rainfall, decreasing runoff from glaciers, drought and smaller levels of snow pack are all contributing to making fresh water less available and more of a scarce commodity.

Most developing countries have very low per capita carbon footprints yet they feel the effects of global warming and it’s impacts on clean drinking water most significantly. Global warming has no boundaries. The US produces close to 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions which don’t stay “over the USA” but contribute to climate change the world over. So while the impacts of water scarcity may be more visible in other parts of the world, this is OUR problem and we need to be part of the solution.

Water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty. WaterAid helps the world’s poorest people to plan, build and manage their own safe water supplies and to improve their sanitation and hygiene. These basic services transform lives. Hours spent carrying water can instead be spent with family, tending crops, raising livestock or starting a business. Simple changes to sanitation and hygiene practices save thousands of babies’ lives and keep children in school.

Talk to your kids about how YOU and your family can help. Things that may be easy for us in most places in North America (turning on the tap and getting fresh, clean water for example) can be so very difficult for families in other places around the world. Remind your kids about how fortunate they are and what things they wouldn’t be able to do (play lacrosse, soccer, dance, draw, play video games!) if they had to spend hours each day collecting water for their family.

How you can help today:

1. Follow WaterAid America on Twitter and Facebook
2. Selfies for a cause
Share yours this World Water Day and tell Congress you support the Water for the World Act. Take a photo of yourself (or with a group) raising a glass of water and share it on social media using hashtag #cheertoH20.
3. Make a donation: WaterAid is proving that even the impossible can be won. Because of donor support from people who won’t take poverty for an answer, WaterAid has been able to help over 19 million people gain access to safe water since 1981, and reached 15.1 million people with toilets and sanitation since 2004. That’s millions of stories of how individual lives have been transformed in some of the world’s poorest, hardest to reach places.

“As we live climate change access to clean, potable water will become the greatest challenge confronting the human race. World Water Day helps us put the focus squarely on this scarce and critical resource.”


Climate Mama

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