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Why Should You Care About the Water Crisis?

Judie Stilman March 21, 2021

Why should you care about the water crisis?

Chances are, you got up this morning, took a shower, made breakfast, and brushed your teeth. Maybe you put in a load of laundry, ran the dishwasher, watered your houseplants, drove your car through the carwash, or picked up a cup of your favorite coffee and didn’t notice a water crisis.

Imagine your life without water

Because we are so accustomed to having clean water at our fingertips, it is hard to imagine how challenging life would be without it. People living in Texas and Mississippi experienced that reality firsthand, when power grids and water mains broke during the big freeze of February 2021. Residents of Flint, Michigan finally have clean water flowing from their faucets after suffering the effects of lead contaminated water in their homes and schools for decades. So the global water crisis does touch our lives, even in a country that has vast water resources and the infrastructure to deliver it. 

Every 60 seconds a newborn dies

By contrast, 785 million people worldwide do not have access to safe water near their homes. In addition, 2.3 billion people lack water for proper hygiene and sanitation, dramatically impacting their health and well being. Consequently, contaminated water is responsible for deadly diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio. In fact, every 60 seconds a newborn baby dies from infections caused by unsafe water and unsanitary environments.

How water scarcity affects women
Photo: Mamen Saura; The Samburu Project

Equally important, water scarcity has a disproportionate effect on the lives of women and girls. In rural regions of Africa and Asia, females are customarily tasked with procuring water for their households. They spend most of every day walking many miles to collect water. This leaves little or no time for school, income generation and family care.

Water is life
Photo: Mamen Saura; The Samburu Project

According to the World Health Organization, by 2025, over half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. Therefore, we must accept the fact that water is a finite resource with increasing demands. Climate change is a huge factor in the fluctuation of water accessibility, and has contributed to the frequency of draughts and severe flooding. These extreme climate events lead to mass migrations as populations flee uninhabitable conditions. This in turn creates structural and economic burdens on neighboring countries resulting in political strife, and conflict. 

How you can help now

Since the world water crisis and climate change are intertwined, here are some ways that you, just one person, can make an impact:

  • Educate yourself about the water crisis
  • Share with your network to amplify the urgency of action
  • Reduce your carbon footprint 
  • Be mindful of water waste and conservation
  • Support organizations that are working to end the water crisis
Photo: Mamen Saura; The Samburu Project

There are thousands of nonprofits on the frontlines, providing water to the most vulnerable communities. The Samburu Project is a small, but mighty organization making a big impact in the lives of people in central Kenya, one clean water well at a time. To date The Samburu Project has funded and built 126 wells bringing clean water to 100,000 people. Their efforts also support community health, education, womens’ empowerment, and doorstep garden initiatives, all made possible by the accessibility of clean water. 

Be part of the ripple effect

Creating water equity for everyone on the planet is a complex issue. But when individuals work together to provide the basic human right of safe, clean water, the ripple effect makes a global impact. It’s rewarding to be part of an effort that is saving lives and addressing the world water crisis on a human level. You can help by donating your spare change monthly to The Samburu Project with Coin Up App. Invite friends to join you, and see your collective small change provide water for one child, one family, or a whole village. You are the change the world needs now.

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