Field of Science

Don't Drink the Water Day - March 22

Calling attention to the most frequently over-looked and most unappreciated of natural resources, water, is a good idea, but Water Day doesn't get much press. A great deal of human medical problems world-wide could be vastly improved if people only had access to safe drinking water. That of course also means that adequate garbage and sewage disposal because so often safe water starts with eliminating the contaminates. Unfortunately, in places that have some of the worst water resources, and in many cases limited water resources, human population growth is increasing the size of cities far beyond their capacity to provide water, trash, & sewage services, and no where is this more true than in Africa. Unless an intrepid traveler, we tend to be oblivious to this problem, after all we luxuriate in water resources, wasting water every which way we turn (no, not the expected lawn rant). A few years back the Phactors visited a school in Africa with about 80 kids per class, and they were neatly dressed, polite, interested, and interesting, but the school had no running water, no toilets, not even of the pit variety, no sinks, nada. The wet season would have supplied quite a bit of water if the roof runoff could be captured and stored, and then used efficiently. Guttering, big plastic tanks, a pump (there was electricity), and it's not rocket science, but what did not exist was either the money nor the infastructure to get such a project done. So please do appreciate what you have and don't squander this resource just because it's cheap and plentiful for us. And remember even here in the USA there are places where you do not have the water rights to save the runoff from your own roof!

1 comment:

la cartonaria said...

'Dear Exile', by Hilary Liften & Kate Montgomery, published by Vintage, 1999. Your point about clean drinking water & sanitation couldn't be better illustrated. Ms Montgomery was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. Don't think I'll be dashing out to dine in the bush.