World Water Day 2009

1.4 billion people worldwide do not have access to potable water. That is outrageous especially when UN estimates predict that number to go over three billion by 2030. Water is the essence of all life on Earth. It is our sustenance that quenches our thirst, grows our food, and cleanses our bodies and souls. We are linked to this alive and lifegiving resource by a bond that goes beyond the physical. We are 70% water as the Earth is, though about only 1% of it is freshwater for human consumption and use. And we are neglecting and abusing it. This does not bode well for preserving that bond.

So many around the world still take this resource and human right for granted. So many think they can simply turn on their taps and it will always be there. However, many are finding out that is not the case if we waste it, pollute it, dam it, mismanage it, or continue the behaviors that lend to drought and global warming which evaporates it and changes its rainfall patterns. At one time this thought was not even entertained, but we are actually affecting the hydrologic cycle and based on reports of glacier melt worldwide particularly in the Himalayas, billions of people are at risk (with population statistics predicting 9 billion people by 2030) of not having enough water to grow their crops and sustain their lives.

So much of what we do everyday involves the use of water and it never asks for anything in return but for us to respect it.

Today is World Water Day. A day to honor those worldwide who have worked hard to bring potable water to those who need it most and a day to reflect on how important and precious water is to our lives and the effects of our actions.

Knowledge is power, awareness brings action. The world is at a crossroads and what we do to sustain and conserve water today saves it for tomorrow. The consequences of ignoring the global water crisis are too dire to think about. So let's not get to the point where we will have to. We can work to clean our waterways, conserve our water, adapt to climactic changes, decrease fossil fuel emissions, and most importantly demand that water be declared a human right and a public trust to bring water equity to our world and to help developing nations climb out of poverty. We have that power.

Let's use it starting now. The answer is so easy to find. It lies in us.