For those of you who don’t know, it was World Water Day on March 22, 2016, and I just wanted to take some time to reflect on the water conditions around the world. I know this is another depressing post, but unfortunately the world is a depressing place. So how do we cope, how do we keep hearing sad stories and still get out of bed in the morning? One option is to get sad at everything we hear about, get depressed and hide in cave somewhere. I’ve found a default that I tend to do is to harden my heart and play apathetic to all the horrible things going on in the world. I tend to ignore the chaos and focus on myself instead, Anyways, this post isn’t about me, but being a part of this planet means that I might not be able to change much, but I can change how I live. So, find an issue you’re passionate about, set goals in your own life to improve this issue, and together we can make a difference. So, if it’s working hard to have a bee hive in your backyard, planting your own garden, recycling, walking to work/school, we can all do our part, even if it’s a bit of a sacrifice. As this is the last post for the class, I should say that while we’ve covered many sad topics, there is still hope. There is always hope for a better future.
World Water Day was this week and and it was meant to be a celebration of water and the life that it brings. Water Day reminds us to be thankful without guilt, generous without greed, and innovative without motives as it reminds us of our responsibility to our fellow mankind to first extend a hand.
And now on to the reason I’m writing. Let’s take a look at the different perspectives of water throughout the world.
An NGO based in the UK, Water Aid has shared that in Nicaragua, cattle ranching, mining, and the unregulated government legislation, have caused devastating effects. This has led to a major decline in the sanitation of the country’s drinking water. This affects millions of people every day, not getting water is one thing, but getting unclean water is only going exponentially increase the spread of disease, decrease agriculture, and numerous other effects.
Not just in far away places, there have been several other water issues. For example in Flint Michigan, that’s right, in the US, they’re having to completely rely on bottled water when they found toxic metal poisoning in their water system. Nearly two years ago, they switched water supplies from Lake Huron as well as the Detroit water to the Flint River, which it seems was contaminated with extreme levels of lead and iron from ageing pipes. This year they still rely on bottled water for daily needs, and have declared they are in a state of emergency. Another example is the record breaking droughts happening in California. The lack of water has led to forest fires devastating whole communities and agriculture based land, leaving people without homes, without food, and without work.
I could go on and on about water and it’s importance! Issues like refugees completely relying on the already resource strapped countries like Greece and Macedonia for bottled water. Or the back to back dry seasons in Sao Paulo, Brazil, leading to lakes and river systems drying up and resorting to towing freshwater on trucks to surrounding communities.
Although despite the lack of hope this post seems to have, there are still hopeful stories out there. For example, every year on Water Day, the Indonesian people celebrate the continuous improvement of the cleanliness of the Surabaya River. Month after month the people are seeing a rise in the quality of the water and the ecology of the environment. It’s also exciting to see that the culture is raising awareness and sending the message to stop littering and throwing waste into the river, a huge source of decontaminants. Compared with six years ago, the river is thriving, providing a better habitat for endemic species as well as a better source of water for traditional rituals.
So don’t let this post make you feel guilty about the privilege we have in Canada, but let it affect you in way that makes you want to do something about it, even if it’s not buying bottled water and packing your own bottle in the morning or taking shorter showers.
The Jakarta Post
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