Water, water everywhere….

heart_rock_compressed….and not a drop to drink.

A Britta filtration system costs about 1/10th of the income of an average Indian family. Plus they have to have extra filters…..but the Britta only works if there is water to filter. 

But what can we do about their water needs? A few things:

Give a well as a gift at your next family holiday or celebration. Imagine how cool that would be to have an intergenerational well as a Christmas or Hanukkah gift rather than another thing.

Pray for folks without water, with diseased water, without adequate sanitation or with diseased sanitation. Just holding these special people in the light of your love and good thoughts will help you and them.

Give up your daily shower….or bath. I don’t work on the railroad or the highways so I don’t really need to shower every day. I do need to be clean every day. So I have learned how to wash with a “bird bath” which is a sink of hot water. On birdbath days when I wash, I pray for the women and children who are schlepping water from miles away. Then, on shower days, I give thanks and pray for the women and children who are schlepping water from miles away. It helps me stay in touch with those in need and with the extreme abundance I have in my daily life.

What a joy to wake up in the morning and turn on the taps and have safe water – plenty of safe water – come out. It is only through the circumstance of birth that I receive this bounty and that someone else doesn’t.

Here are some more sources of information, ideas on how to conserve water, and some facts to help explain the real water story in the world.

 Reducing showering time to five minutes can save an average of 20 to 40 gallons of water

Millions lack safe water

More than 3.4 million people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. Nearly all deaths, 99 percent, occur in           the developing world.3

  • Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.1Of the 60 million people added to the world’s towns and cities every year, most move to informal settlements (i.e. slums) with no sanitation facilities.6780 million people lack access to an improved water source; approximately one in nine people.2“[The water and sanitation] crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.” 7An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day.7

    Over 2.5X more people lack water than live in the United States.2

    More people have a mobile phone than a toilet.2,4,5

    Resource Links

    Look for more facts in our collection of Water Resource Links.

1.      Estimated with data from Diarrhea: Why children are still dying and what can be done. UNICEF, WHO 2009

2.      Estimated with data from WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation. (2012). Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water, 2012 Update.

3.      World Health Organization (WHO). (2008). Safer Water, Better Health: Costs, benefits, and sustainability of interventions to protect and promote health; Updated Table 1: WSH deaths by region, 2004.

4.      International Telecommunication Union (ITU). (2011). The World in 2011 ICT Facts and Figures

5.      United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). (2011). State of World Population 2011, People and possibilities in a world of 7 billion

6.      UN Water. (2008). Tackling a global crisis: International Year of Sanitation 2008

7.      United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (2006). Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis

8.      Map data sourced from “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water, 2010 Update.” WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation.

If showering, place small, plastic buckets in shower with you. This will capture water, prior to showering while waiting for water to warm and while showering, that would normally go down the drain.


Where does Southern California’s water come from?

Posted by: Aquafornia on April 29, 2008 at 8:16 am


California is a beautiful fraud; a magnificent put-on, an exquisitely lush illusion. From the farmlands of the Central Valley to the swimming pools, green lawns and flowering landscapes of Southern California, it is all a brilliantly engineered masterpiece, an extensive rearrangement of the existing natural order, created by the ingenuity and will of man, and costing billions of taxpayer dollars in the process…In the West, it is said that water flows uphill towards money, and nowhere else could that be truer than here in Southern California. About half of the water that flows freely from our taps started as snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and has traveled 444 miles from Northern California. It has leapt up 3000 feet to traverse the Tehachapi Mountains, and traveled through gigantic siphons, pumps and tunnels to reach us.

As early as 1900, Los Angeles had already outgrown its meager water supply, the Los Angeles River. William Mulholland found the water the growing city needed in the Owens Valley, and embarked on an ambitious project to bring it here….Since the Gold Rush era, California has been transformed from a vast, sparsely populated area into one of the world’s leading agricultural and food production regions…These water projects have helped make California a leading agricultural producer, a major manufacturing center, the most populated state in the country, and the eighth largest economy in the world.

No other state has rearranged their environment to the same extent as California. The truth is, most of California is an arid semi-desert, with a climate similar to that of the North African Plain. Los Angeles is drier than Beirut. About 65 percent of the state receives less than 20 inches of rainfall per year, most of that in the winter months. While 70 percent of California’s runoff occurs north of Sacramento, 75 percent of California’s urban and agricultural demands are to the south.


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