"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Thursday, March 09, 2006 Water policy 'fails world's poor'
Did you know:
*There are one billion people without access to clean drinking water. *There are 2.6 billion people without adequate sanitation. *Rapid urbanization is increasing pressure on water resources *30-40% of water is 'lost" through illegal tapping and leaks.
(source: UN World Water Report)
Growing up in the desert southwest, I'm no stranger to water conservation. Unfortunately, the cities of Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are great strangers to it ... which is why we are draining the aquifer that feeds the Colorado River to the point where the Arizona-California border at Yuma is basically a dry river bed.
If world wars are fought this century, they will not be over oil, they will be over water. It's ironic, when you consider that 3/4 of the earth's surface is covered with the stuff ... but we haven't put the money into desalinization technologies to make them effective, efficient and affordable. Things like embracing the Kyoto Protocol as a first step toward reducing pollution would be a nice move, too.
As always, remember to pray, educate and act. A good way to start is reading this report below from BBC News Online (thanks to Ann Fontaine for forwarding it to me): -----------------------
Almost 20% of the world's population still lacks access to safe drinking water because of failed policies, an influential report has concluded.
The UN World Water Development Report also blames a lack of resources and environmental changes for the problem.
The study calls for better leadership if a goal of halving the proportion of people without proper access to safe water by 2015 is to be achieved.
The findings will be outlined next week at the World Water Forum in Mexico.
Described as the most comprehensive assessment to date of the world's freshwater supplies, the report said that politicians, businesses and aid charities all had a role to play in addressing the problem.
Unless there was a marked improvement, the report warned, regions such as sub-Saharan Africa would not meet the UN Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water between 1990 and 2015.
Only 12% of nations had managed to meet a deadline to introduce an effective water strategy by 2005.
Changes to the global climate were also having an impact. The report found that many regions' river and groundwater levels were falling because of lower rainfall and higher evaporation rates.
Here is a map of the "water footprint" of the world's nations so you can tell the huge difference in per capita use.
When I arrived in Ghana, James greeted me at his house with a glass of water. It was the traditional greeting because "water is life." Our own water consumption patterns -- even simple things like having low-flow toilets, not leaving the water running when brushing teeth or washing dishes -- make a big difference, as do our advocacy efforts.
| Mike at 3/09/2006 03:40:00 PM
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"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."