Be thankful — our water is fine
By MICHAEL CALDWELL
It may be the biggest understatement of all time, but here is a newsflash for you: Water is important.
Really, really important.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but the liquid of life seems to always take a backseat to sexier beverages like soda, juice, beer, wine or, especially here in Kentucky, bourbon.
Everything about the cool, wet liquid is vital — whether or not it is clean, how we distribute it, if there is enough of it, etc.
Where would we be without adequate water? Sadly, we may have to answer that question far sooner than you might think.
Recent studies project that two-thirds of the world’s population could be living in water-stressed countries by 2025.
Although we just started this decade, that is right around the corner.
Today, 785 million people — one out of nine — lack access to safe water and two billion people — close to one in three — lack access to a toilet, according to water.org.
Nearly a million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases, which could be reduced with access to safe water or sanitation. Every two minutes, a child dies from a water-related disease, according to the organization.
Here are some other key facts from the organization All About Water that show just important it is:
- Roughly 70 percent of an adult’s body is made up of water.
- At birth, water accounts for approximately 80 percent of an infant’s body weight.
- A healthy person can drink about 3 gallons (48 cups) of water per day.
- The United States uses about 346 billion gallons of fresh water every day.
- The average person in the United States uses anywhere from 80-100 gallons of water per day. Flushing the toilet actually takes up the largest amount of this water.
It seems like water has been in the news a lot in recent years with everything from water-line breaks, contaminated sources, boil advisories, distribution systems, floods and more.
Living in the great country we do, it is easy to take water for granted. Many places in the world are not nearly as fortunate as we are. Many countries face significant challenges delivering drinkable water at all, running or otherwise.
Organizations like Rotary International put a lot of money and manpower into developing wells and other clean water sources across the world. This is an ongoing battle — certainly something we could all probably think about a little more as we walk to the sink and turn on the faucet or grab a bottle of water from the fridge or store.
What would we do if this wasn’t an option? Our view of water would likely be a whole lot different.
So, before we get too upset over water line breaks, boil-water advisories or other temporary issues like frozen pipes, let’s all pause to remember how good we have it.
We can go with the flow but also think about the future.
Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Advocate-Messenger and Danville Living magazine. He can be reached at (859) 469-6400 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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