8 Facts You Didn't Know About Water


Image credit: Charity: Water
This guest post was written by Change.org as part of Blog Action Day

Today is a huge day for bloggers and activists around the world: it's Blog Action Day. For those of you that aren't familiar with the event, Blog Action Day is a single day on the web where thousands of bloggers across more than 130 countries all write about the same issue.This year Blog Action Day is focused on the issue of water. We know that many of you are aware of the devastating environmental impacts of water scarcity and water pollution, but we wanted to share the facts we've found most startling in our work over the past few months in preparation for for Blog Action Day 2010. We hope these facts will inspire you to head over to the Blog Action Day site and take action.

  1. Every week, 42,000 people die from unsafe drinking water and unhygienic living conditions.
  2. Students in developing countries lose 443 million school days each year due to diseases associated with the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene. Repeated episodes of diarrhea and worm infestations diminish a child's ability to learn and impair cognitive development.
  3. More people have access to cell phones than to toilets. As a result, tons of untreated human waste make their way to water sources causing a litany of diseases, and even death.
  4. The US, Mexico and China lead the world in bottled water consumption, with people in the US drinking an average of 200 bottles of water per person each year. Over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to manufacture those water bottles, 86 percent of which will never be recycled.

These facts are disheartening, but they don't have to be the norm. Even in the darkest depths of the water crisis, we found positive solutions that are already being put in place.

  1. Organizations like Water.org and charity: water are leading the charge in bringing fresh water to communities in the developing world by not only building wells in remote villages but also creating sustainable infrastructure to maintain those wells.
  2. The average person uses 465 liters of water per day. But by educating yourself about where you are most wasteful in your water use, you can begin to reduce that waste.
  3. There are small steps we can all take to help keep pollution out of our rivers and streams, like correctly disposing of household wastes.
  4. Communities around the world are saying no to bottled water. Doing so not only drastically reduces water bottle waste, but also saves taxpayers a pretty penny. For example, the city of San Francisco saved $500,000 per year by terminating all of its bottled water contracts.

While the realities of water issues around the world are grim, the organizations and individuals driving positive solutions show us that it doesn't have to be that way. By using Blog Action Day as a unique chance to raise awareness, we are moving toward a world with more and more people committed to ensuring clean water supplies and a more sustainable future for all.

Today, we invite you to be part of the movement getting the word out about water issues. If you have a blog, you can still register and blog about water today. If not, we invite you to share on Facebook, tweet, or simply email your friends and share these water facts with them.

Thank you for joining us, and for all of your work for a future filled with clean water.

Read more about the water crisis:
Peak Water: Exploring the Water Crisis
What the Water Crisis Really Means for You and the Planet
Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It (Interview)
5 Documentaries You Must See to Understand the Water Crisis

Tags: Bottled Water | Drinking Water

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