The Greatest Resource
My family lives high up (at almost 9000ft elevation) in the Rocky Mountains. In Colorado, we have a few brief weeks of rainfall, but by this time of year, the land is so dry that the grass in my front yard cracks and crumbles when you step on it. And of course, as you’ve no doubt heard, it burns like ten million torches.
Being a native of Colorado has certainly taught me the value of water, and the harsh realities of what happens to the land when the water dries up. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about famine and disease on top of drought; I may worry about wildfires, but not about crops failing, or drinking water disappearing, or not having enough water to wash in. That’s a lot more than many people on the planet can say, which is why I love organizations like OneDrop Foundation and Water.org.
Lack of water–especially clean water–is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Did you know…
- 3.575 million people die each year from water-related diseases.
- Almost a billion people do not have access to safe drinking water.
- Two and a half billion people live in areas without sanitation.
- Contaminated water is responsible for more than two million infant deaths a year, making it the second largest cause of infant death in the world.
The list of ills caused by lack of clean water could go on for pages, and it affects many aspects of life. It is directly correlated with poverty and lack of education–especially among women because the time it takes to collect enough water for their families often prevents them from going to school. In a world of extremely complicated and difficult-to-solve problems, providing access to clean water is a sure way improve people’s lives on every level.
One Drop was founded by the creator of Cirque du Soliel, and splits its efforts between programs to create access to clean water in various parts of the world, and breathtaking artistic exhibits to create awareness of world water issues. Currently, they have projects in Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, India, and Nicaragua.
Water.org is also working to raise awareness and improve people’s lives. With a wide variety of projects scattered throughout the world, and a great collection of information available on their site, water.org is one of the absolute must-visit sites for anyone interested in helping the water crisis.
Both groups also use a wonderful mix of sustainable, locally-powered solutions, which ensure that not only are they improving people’s lives on every level, they are also helping local economies and supporting the environment as well.
As I write this, it has begun to rain. After weeks with little or no rain at all, the sound of water falling from the sky is the most delicious thing I’ve heard in a long time. The single frog that lives in our parched, dying yard–a frog I had thought long dead, since we hadn’t heard him at all this summer–suddenly starts to sing at the top of his tiny lungs. Water is one of the few things that living creatures absolutely cannot live without, and no one should have to try.