Working Towards Water Justice
March 22, 2012 | No Comments
World Water Day, March 22, 2012
Are you aware that 783 million people still rely on unimproved drinking water sources, putting them at risk for ingesting bacteria on a daily basis?
Can you believe that an American taking a five minute shower uses more fresh water than somebody living in a slum might use over the course of an entire day?
Did you know that 2.5% of the world’s water supply is in the form of freshwater, of which 70% is used for irrigation, 22 percent for industry, and only 8% for domestic use?
Around the world, the growth of population, agriculture, and industry are transforming water into an increasingly scarce resource (see WHO’s Drinking Water and Sanitation Update for details, and UN Water Statistics for more great numbers). As global water resources become more limited, water is being privatized in the hands of corporations, forcing millions to depend on illegal taps, dirty canals, and other unreliable and unsafe sources.
The ways in which water is conserved, used, and distributed ultimately impacts its availability and accessibility to people who need it. Even in areas with adequate rainfall and freshwater, inadequate infrastructure can limit access to this vital resource. In other areas – including many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – insufficient quantities of freshwater can compound poor infrastructure, leaving people to walk as much as eight hours to secure enough water to hydrate and clean their families, as well as irrigate their fields. In fact, on any given day, women around the world walk a collective 200 million hours just to fetch water for their families!
Regardless of causation, water scarcity affects one out of every three people around the world.
Improving access to clean water means so much more than building wells in communities. Without protecting water at its source, there wouldn’t be any clean water to pump. With the help of Aveda Earth Month proceeds, Global Greengrants Fund is getting much-needed small grants to local groups who are making a difference for clean water. Around the world, our grantees are:
- Eliminating pesticide use and supporting organic farming initiatives
- Protecting watersheds from destructive projects, like dams, mining, and oil drilling
- Conserving forests and biodiversity, thereby protecting rivers and water quality
- Cleaning up industrial pollution and toxics that poison drinking water
- Sponsoring environmental education campaigns to improve local awareness about protecting water sources and keeping water clean
As one of our advisors noted, “It is essential to support grassroots groups now in securing their water rights, as their voices may not be there for much longer. For generations, forest dwellers and agriculturists have adapted to a scarcity of water. But new challenges are emerging. It will be too much for them to bear without effective support for change.”
To that end, check out details of the various water projects that we have supported, and this World Water Day helps us work towards water justice – – the idea that all people have the right to access safe, affordable water.