Over 70% of the Earth is covered by water, and we humans ourselves are composed of at least 60% water. Water is vital to all of us – we’re watery creatures on a watery planet, but we’re not doing a very good job of protecting our resource or distributing it fairly.
Today, March 22, might be a good day to think about that a bit. It’s World Water Day, an annual observation begun by the United Nations 27 years ago as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Raising public awareness about the importance of conservation, preservation, and protection of water resources and drinking water supply is paramount. The theme this year is “Nature and Climate” focuses on exploring how water and climate change are inextricably linked.
Two billion people don’t have access to safe water at home. One in three people lack adequate sanitation facilities worldwide. Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwid is due to a water-related illness. Clearly gaining a better understanding of how water impacts political and social stability around the globe and knowing how to solve these problems is vital to addressing the growing water crisis.
As with all huge issues it can feel overwhelming to even think about it, let alone know what to do. But let’s set aside overwhelm and consider what we might in fact do. Find some aspect of this water issue that inspires you and devote some time, energy, and resources to it. These are some obvious things.
- Contribute to charities providing cleaning and filtering solutions for populations in need.
- Boycott businesses and organizations whose agendas are profit-driven and ultimately even more negatively impactful. For example consider not using bottled water or support its manufacture as it creates extraordinary waste and pollution both in the manufacture of the plastic bottles and in the issue of their disposal. Suggesting that providing a long-term solution for those with water issues is to supply them with bottled water long-term is not my idea of a winning solution.
- Plant more trees and support the planting of trees globally. Shade from trees slows water evaporation, and as trees transpire they increase atmospheric moisture. They help prevent water pollution and soil erosion.
I’ve been thinking a lot about water these days as we’re called to the responsibility of being meticulous with frequent and thorough handwashing in the face of our global pandemic. If this isn’t time to be grateful we have adequate water resources, I certainly don’t know when is. And to that end, I believe an energetically positive thing we each can do as we’re spending the 20 seconds to thoroughly wash our hands, is to actually offer thanks to the water. And what better time to bless our water as we drink it, infusing it with love and light in a time when such things are greatly required?
Today might also be a good day to listen to the Water Blessing Song by Nalini Blossom.
Another thing to think about during World Water day is where actually does your water come from? Sure, we turn on a tap and there it is. But really, do you know how it got there and from where? Researching the watershed of the area I live in, helped me feel connected to the areas around me in ways I had never experienced before. I think it’s important to know. We aren’t separated from one another – we really are linked in so many ways.
A friend, a member of a number of ecopsychology groups, encourages everyone to think of themselves in relationship to the watershed they belong to, and in honor of that to include that description in their signature.
So, with that remembrance, I am
Deborah, of the DesPlaines River-Kankakee River-Illinois River-Mississippi River-Gulf of Mexico
May we be grateful for what we are blessed with and work diligently to share resources with those in need, and find new ways to walk upon this Earth that bless us all.