We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

20 March 2007

World Water Day

I discovered that March 22 is World Water Day by reading a few other blogs, including BlogHer. I felt slightly ashamed that I didn't know what it was or ever heard of it before. According to World Water Day.net, it is is an international day of observance and action to draw attention to the plight of the more than 1 billion people world wide that lack access to clean, safe drinking water. Celebrated since 1993, World Water Day was designated in 1992 when the United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed a resolution. With each passing year, the observance has grown larger and stronger.

I felt somewhat pardoned when I read though that it is still a relatively unknown event. Its at a similar stage like Earth Day in the 1970's, important but still largely unknown. I have written about my reverence for water before, as the highest energy on the earth. I truly believe this and am teaching my children likewise. This is not to say that I don't have my absent-minded moments, like leaving the tap running when I brush my teeth.. for which my son has reminded me to turn it off!

We in the western industrialised world take clean drinking water for granted. For many, even clean tap water is not good enough, it has to be purchased bottle water. Or we buy additional filtration devices. Thinking about drinking water from an open sewer because there is no other option though, changes ones perspective and turning on the tap in our clean homes should elicit thankfulness of the grandest magnitude. I will be turning on the taps with gratitude in addition to some of the regular things that we practice to conserve water including washing clothes on a lower temperature, at half-load on the washer, taking mostly showers instead of baths (which is still not as popular here), turning the water off while brushing teeth.. you could even turn your shower off while you wash your hair, but admittedly I don't do this.
I remember a friend's bathroom where their parents had this old fashioned sign that read 'if its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down', a reminder that unnecessary flushing wastes water. Low flow toilets are readily available now though, helping toward that problem.
Coincidentally, I also received our water bill today. Over the past year, Yorkshire residents have given over £750,400 to WaterAid, which is enough to help 50,027 people to gain access to safe, clean water. Sometimes it seems to me like we don't all live on the same planet. How hard can it be to get everyone in the world living at the same level as each other..perhaps I'm too idealistic. But if not at the same level, then at least at the basic level of clean water, enough food and proper shelter.. why can't our governments do that as easily as they can invade and destroy a country? Why hasn't it been done without question?

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