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Access to water is a right- not a privilege

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Lake CameronIsn’t it beautiful? Don’t you think everyone should have access to freshwater like that? How many of you have ever experienced water scarcity? The closest I have ever come is limiting when I can water my lawn or plants in the summer months. It is hard to believe that 884 million people lack access to safe water and supplies; approximately one in eight people.

Did you know that:

  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness
  • Women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water
  • More than 3x more people lack water than live in the United States
  • The majority of illness is caused by fecal matter infested water
  • More people have a mobile than a toilet

Makes you want to rethink your 10 minute shower that uses approximately 170 litres of water. That is more water than one person in a developing country uses in one single week.

Over 90% of the water we consume comes from the choices we make each day regarding what we eat, the clothing we wear, and the amount of electricity we use. The water we all consume leaves a footprint, one that can impact our local rivers and lakes, as well as those people living thousands and thousands of kilometres away.

  • 13 litres of water is needed to grown one tomato.
  • 30-35 litres of water is required to grow enough tea leaves for a single cup
  • 15,500 litres of  water is required to get a steak dinner on your plate. Most of the water consumed comes from the growth and production of the cow’s diet of forage and grains. The water footprint of a beef cow is 3.1 million litres over its lifespan.

Water scarcity is a global issue. Waiting to conserve when the situation becomes dire is most certainly not the way to approach this issue. We need to start conserving our precious resources now. We often take it for granted (myself included) the abundance of water we have here. We need to start using our water responsibly.

After watching Blue Gold, I think that if we continue polluting, diverting, pumping, and wasting our limited supply of fresh water at an exponential rate as our population and technology grows, we may very well end up in a war over water. Having a shortage of oil will be the least of our problems.

What will you do to reduce your water footrpint and keep our freshwater, just that fresh, for generations to come?

Let’s make a difference one drop at a time!

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22 Responses to Access to water is a right- not a privilege

  1. Domingo Rogers March 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Great post Steph! We as humans living in the 21st Century must make responsible choices in our water use. If one chooses to purchase bottled water, make sure that you understand the carbon foot print you are making by purchasing bottled water and be sure to recycle your empty water bottles. If you use a Brita water filter, make sure that you recycle the filter too! Support organizations and companies that are bringing about change. Remember, we all can make a difference and help those with no clean water to know pure water, one drink at a time!

    Domingo Rogers
    Founder of kNOwPureWater.com

    • Good Girl Gone Green March 22, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      Thank you so much, Domingo for the kind words! We all need to make a different one drink at a time!

  2. Brenna @ Almost All The Truth March 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    I have never experienced water scarcity either, and we are so lucky in the United States as a whole, although the remedies to serve those in areas of the country that are really not meant to have green lawns, swimming pools, and other activities that have a heavy use of water may come back to bite us all.

    My current stake in the water issue is trying to prevent Nestlé from weaseling their way into a 99-year water rights agreement in Oregon. Just say no to bottled water! :)

    • Good Girl Gone Green March 22, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      I agree- say no to bottled water! So your lawn isn’t perfect- is it worth wasting water for? I personally do not think so. Get a bucket, collect some rain water and spray with that! Problem solved? :) :)

  3. Lori Popkewitz Alper March 22, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    I admit I’m guilty of taking for granted the water we have here. I work hard with my children to teach them the value of water. We have a reverse osmosis water filtration system which uses quite a bit of water to produce the filtered water we end up drinking. We try to reuse any leftover water for plants or for our dogs water bowl.

    Our lawn is a disaster since I can’t bring myself to use the sprinklers to keep it hydrated. Every little bit helps!

    • Good Girl Gone Green March 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

      I didn’t know that the reverse osmosis filtration system used water to filter the water. Interesting. I think we are all guilty of taking water for granted. But I think you and I are probably doing a pretty good job compared to the average person. And, of course, every bit does help!!! Thanks, Lori!!

  4. EmFox March 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    We are in a pretty horrible drought here, so we’ve implemented stage 2 water restrictions, which basically consist of the following (starting April 1):

    No draining and then filling up pools (you can top off).
    Water yard once a week, no more than an inch. Minimize run off. You water on days that correspond with your address, basically if your house number ends on a 1, you water on Mondays, 2 on Tuesday, etc.
    No hand washing cars.
    No washing down path ways or wetting dirt to keep the dust down.

    Anyway, I think that’s it. People are freaking out “how come we cant wash our car, yet the car washes can stay open.” People don’t realize how much freaking water is saved by using a car wash!!!!! Then there is the “I want to drain my pool, waaaah” and “this is America, I’ll water when I want!”

    It makes me sad people don’t care about our resources…

    • Good Girl Gone Green March 22, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

      It is sad that people do not get it. People need to switch off the me, myself and I mentality because one day we might not have any water to drink let alone wash a car.

  5. Lisa @Retro Housewife Goes Green March 23, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    The extreme drought in Oklahoma this past year made me think about water very differently. Not only did we have water restrictions, it was so hot the water lines kept bursting leaving people without water while it was well over 100 degrees! Two towns in Texas are without water, though hopefully the rains have helped. Most of Oklahoma and parts of Texas are finally out of the drought BUT our lakes and rivers are still low so we still need more.

  6. Courtney Sperlazza, MPH March 23, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    This is why fracking scares the skittles out of me. Close to where I live, millions of gallons will be used and 20% will be rendered unusable. And what happens when that project is finished and we start a new one? Another few million used, another 20% ruined…

    • Good Girl Gone Green March 27, 2012 at 12:26 am #

      I am not a fan of tracking either. SO much wasted water, and resource. Sad.

  7. Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama March 23, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Powerful post!! Thank you for sharing and for participating in the Green & Natural Mamas Bloghop!

  8. Deirdre @ Ladies Holiday March 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    So good of you to speak up about this- thank you for spreading awareness!

  9. Sarah March 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    The statistics about water scarcity are heart breaking. This year the focus was on water’s role in food scarcity. It is unbelievable how much water we are using to produce some foods, like beef. When I was a teenager I read that if every American ate a vegetarian diet for just one month, there would be enough leftover food and water for everyone else on the planet for the REST OF THE YEAR. That would one of the major precursors to me becoming a vegetarian.

  10. Tanya March 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Here in Florida, surrounded by water, people get crazy if restrictions are made. They don’t understand the process it would take to desalinize the water, and why should we need to, if we’d just conserve. We do our best, I teach my kiddos to turn off the faucets while washing/brushing, etc. We don’t water our yard, it’s natural instead. NO water bottles. Maybe if it cost more we’d take it more seriously? Thanks so much for posting this! The numbers really are remarkable.
    T

  11. opit March 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    Here’s a note to show you some appreciation. http://www.care2.com/news/member/468457648/3158326 You might want to check out Home and Flow as well. http://opitslinkfest.blogspot.com/2009/07/water-wealth-power.html

  12. content March 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

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I'm Stephanie, the Good Girl Gone Green, and I'm excited to share my own experiences with learning to live a greener, healthier life!

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