On occasion we stop being wrapped up in our individual daily issues and problems and take a larger look at life. When we do stop and do this we often become aware of much large world issues and things that we often take for granted but when is the last time you thought about water?
Mankind has spent millions of hours and billions of dollars for space exploration, often with one goal in mind, trying to find water. We all know the important of water for our existence but fail to realize it is a limited resource. As our population expands, the demands on clean drinking water are being stretched, and in some parts of our planet it is already a human tragedy playing out. Could you imagine countries going to war are no longer over land or oil, but fighting a war over water? Some scientist and experts believe that is exactly where we are headed if some things are not corrected and people start taking steps to conserve water.
Although our planet is about 70% water only 3% of it is fresh water suited for human consumption, here are a few other eye opening fact about water that illustrates its scarcity in nature…
1. The earth has 1.39 billion cubic kilometers of water on its surface 97% in oceans and 3% fresh water 2. Of the 3% of fresh water, 69% is trapped in ice caps and glaciers, 30% is ground water, and less than 1% about .3% is surface water. 3. Of the .3% of surface water 2% is in rivers, 11% in swamps, and 87% in lakes.
There are a few simple things that can be done, and if we all do just these little things it has the potential to make a huge impact. Here ARE A FEW EXAMPLES for different places in your home.
Kitchen Water Conservation
1. Thaw foods in the refrigerator or in a bowl of hot water instead of using running water. 2. Let your pots and pans soak instead of letting the water run while you clean them. 3. Water your houseplants with water saved from washing your fruits and vegetables, waiting for the water to warm up, or even when you clean your fish tank!
Water Conservation for Bathrooms 1. Switch to an ultra low-flow showerhead. This could save you as much as 2.5 gallons every minute you shower. 2. When taking a bath, start filling the tub with the drain already plugged instead of waiting first for the water to get warm. Adjust the temperature as the tubs begins to fill. 3. Turn the faucet off while you shave, brush your teeth and lather up your hands.
Out Door Water Conservation 1. Check outdoor faucets, pipes, hoses and pools for leaks. 2. Avoid bursting or freezing pipes by winterizing your outdoor spigots 3. Change your lawn mower to a 3-inch clipping height and try not to cut off more than one-third of the grass height when you mow. 4. Water your lawn only when it needs it. If you leave footprints on the grass, it is usually time to water. 5. Water your lawn only when it needs it. If you leave footprints on the grass, it is usually time to water.
One drop at a time, we can all make a difference to help avoid a possible human Catastrophe.
Earlier this year there was a world crisis in one of the most impoverished countries in the world. On January 12, 2010 7.0 magnitude earthquakes rocked the country of Haiti and devastating the Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince. The exact figures are difficult to determine but it is estimated that more than 230,000 people were died as a direct result of the earth quake. The Presidential palace, Parliament and many other important structures were destroyed, along with countless homes and the country lay in almost ruins as government building, businesses, and home destroyed. Many countries rushed aid to the stricken country send both people and supplies. While the world response was overwhelming at first, the ongoing aid, support, and supplies has greatly diminished. As of September 2010, it is estimated that one million refugees are still living in tents and the humanitarian situation is still classified as an emergency.
One of the most basic needs of for the people of Haiti is drinking water. While this was recognized at the onset of the humanitarian efforts, pallets of bottled water lined the airport in port of prince, clean drinking water it is now becoming a dire situation again. CNN news http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/10/21/haiti.cholera/index.html?hpt=T1 is not reporting that the lack of clean water has caused a Cholera outbreak and the death toll is 150 people and rising. At a news conference held Friday, buy the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Agency for International Development discussed the outbreak and efforts to work out a containment strategy. “US AID will provide supplies needed to set up treatment centers. The group has already prepositioned 300,000 oral re-hydration kits and is distributing water purification kits in affected areas.” On the heels of the U.S. report Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive called the cholera outbreak "unprecedented" and said authorities were working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to understand what happened.
A person can get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the bacteria. During epidemics, the source of the contamination is often the feces of an infected person, and infections can spread rapidly in areas where there is poor sewage treatment and a lack of clean drinking water, according to the CDC. A person who has cholera is characterized by diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramps, and in severe cases infection of the intestine.
Along with homes and buildings many parts of Haiti’s infrastructure was destroyed or damaged including water purification and treatment facilities. One of the most effective solutions for bacteria water treatment is the use of a UV water purification system. The director of Hospital Albert Schweitzer Haiti organization on Thursday helped install one water filtration unit, capable of providing 10,000 gallons of clean drinking water, and planned to install another two Friday. But some parts of the impoverished nation remained out of reach, he said. One village had been totally cut off by floodwater. In these remote areas of the country humanitarian works are resorting to using small handheld water purifiers such as the SteriPEN Adventurer and SteriPen Traveler. These small portable hand-held UV water purifiers use C Wavelength UV (ultraviolet light) which destroy the Bacteria DNA of microbes in seconds. Without functional DNA, microbes can't reproduce and more importantly cannot make you sick.
As the aid efforts continue be sure to support organizations, nonprofit organizations, nations and international bodies in the region offering help.