World Water Week: March 20-26

Because we have plenty of clean water to drink, we don’t often think of the global water crisis, which is part of the reason that world water week exists. It helps to remind us of this very precious commodity that we take for granted, and how we can conserve it.

Most of you readers already know that bottled water is a no-no. The Madison Water Utility had showings of the movie “Tapped,” in which we discovered that a lot of bottled water is just municipal water. Corporations come into small towns and buy up the rights to the water and then bottle it and sell it. They are subject to less regulations in many cases than the municipality that has given them the permit to take the water. So there are no standards and no real way to know the quality of the bottled water. Perhaps worse than this fact is the understanding that the waste plastic bottles are dumped in the ocean! There are floating masses of plastic bottles in our oceans, compromising them and the life within them. Watch the movie when you get a chance.

According to WaterDay.org , every $1 invested in water sanitation and hygiene improvements does approximately $8 worth of good for individuals and communities across the developing world.

Interesting facts from Water.org:

  • Women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water
  • More than 3x more people lack water than live in the United States
  • More people have a mobile phone than a toilet

There are small things we can do, and large things. We can donate on Water.org or tapproject.org/about/. We can also buy a low-flow toilet, install a rain barrel, grow a rain garden, fix all leaks, check out environmental films at nelson.wisc.edu/tales/index.html and definitely don’t buy bottled water.

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