Is Access To Water A Right?
When was the last time you were thirsty and you could not get a drink of water?
Do you remember how good if feels to have clear clean water refreshing you on a hot day? I can barely remember that because I'm in the worst winter I've had in Portland, Oregon. We have more water here than we know what to do with. It just won't stop raining to be honest.
What a luxury that is.
85% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet. 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.
Well there's nothing that we can do about that here in the Pacific Northwest right? Actually no. You are wrong. Many of the products and services we enjoy consume incredible amounts of water. In fact, many see water as the next oil and around the world large corporations are purchasing land with access to water - often at the expense of the indigenous populations that live in the region.
Consider the material used to deliver bottled water! It takes 24 gallons of water to produce one pound of plastic. One t-shirt made of cotton requires 700 gallons of water.
By reusing items and purchasing things made locally with sustainable processes, we localize our water consumption and reduce the burden placed on people who may not be so rich in the element that literally defines our planet's ability to support life.