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Take action against severe water crises

Amy McKeever, freshman communication disorders major and Stefanie Van Schooten, business administration freshman carry water jugs in order to spread awareness about the water crisis in Africa. | Molli Kaptein/THE CHIMES [file photo]

 

Over 748 million people in the world live without access to clean water, according to water.org. This statistic boils down to roughly one in nine people. Water is not accessible to 748 million people, and for 358 million in Africa water pollution causes dysentery, diarrhea and other life-threatening diseases. By simply providing clean water, water related deaths can be reduced by 21 percent.

THE LARGEST EPIDEMIC

Water is the one thing we cannot live without — with it humans thrive. Every day, women and children around the world spend 140 million hours collecting water. In most developing countries, this water source is filled with e-coli, salmonella, hepatitis A and other disease causing agents. A source of clean water within a developing community can improve health, increase dignity and give women employment opportunities.  

The water crisis is the largest epidemic in the world, causing millions to suffer. However, there is hope. Non-profit organizations such as Charity: Water, Water.org, Life Water and DigDeep all work toward the goal of improving health and sanitation in developing nations through water projects. So what can we do to help decrease this epidemic and increase hope and life? The answer lies in awareness. No, we do not know what it is like to have an unquenchable thirst, going days without clean water and watching our community die. What we do know is how to use our words to be a voice for the voiceless, to partner with organizations and gather friends to stand up for this injustice. Charity: Water provides an opportunity to give to this cause through the birthday project. By pledging your birthday with Charity: Water and raising funds, you can give clean water to roughly 38 people around the world. There are many practical ways to help — just use your voice and spread the word.

CONSERVING WATER

Locally, we face a drought. It is in the news, it is on Buzzfeed and rumor has it California only has one year left of water stored in the reservoir. As a state, we have been dropping more than 12 million acre-feet total of water since 2011. Wells are running dry and lakes now look like the Sahara.

This lack of water supply is more severe than we think. I believe it is time to start conserving water and in doing so making us aware of the global crisis at hand. Simple acts of conservation can save gallons of water over time. By turning off the water while washing your hair, taking five-minute showers and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth can conserve gallons of water each month.

It is time to join the movement in local water conservation and advocating for the 750 million who live without it. Start locally and go global. We have an incredible amount of privileges. Let us use our voice, talents and technology to create change.

 

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