As a huge National Geographic fan, I bought the April, 2010 issue dedicated to water for my Ka Leo (UH student paper) article. As always, I was struck by their photographs, but none of them hit me as hard as this one:
This is the photo of a woman who sells clean well water in Luanda, Angola, for 10 cents per pag. According to the NatGeo article, in 2006, the prevalance of contaminated water in the city caused Africa's worst cholera epidemics sickening 80,000 people. To me, what was striking about this photo was the number of seconds it takes for those of us living in the developed world to waste this much of water. 3 seconds? At most.
There is no doubt that we take water for granted, and even in Hawaii where rain is abundant, we might have to resort to desalinization in 50 years. Only because we take water for granted and live in the illusion that it is an infinite resource.
We also live in the illusion that if we have easy access to clean water, then everyone must have, which is basically called ignorance.
As an environmental science major, I have been aware of clean water problems in the world, especially of ones due to droughts and lack of wells. I havent had a chance to do anything to help, but Jeff gave us an easy opportunity. Of course, donating money is not enough. We should all remember that one of the causes of the depletion of freshwater resources is global warming which leads to droughts or increases the duration of them. When it comes to a problem such as climate change that knows no political boundaries, there is something we can do everyday.
Reducing our impact on the environment every single day and giving clean water projects financial support is like hitting two birds with one stone. You will make both yourself and others happy giving them the opportunity to enjoy water, just like you do.