Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day 2010

Today is Blog Action Day 2010 and the topic at hand is water. When I think about the many issues surrounding water, it's hard for me to pick just one to write about.

In James McBride's memoir / family retrospective The Color of Water, the author asks his mother, "What color is God's spirit?" She replies, "It doesn't have a color ... God is the color of water."

I like that quote. It seems fitting, somehow, since "up to 60% of the human body is water" (source: USGS). We live on a planet where 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by water (source: NASA). Water is integral to our daily lives. Regardless of race, class, gender, income, or other dividing lines, every person on earth depends upon water. It is our lowest common denominator. We all need water to survive.

Yet, only 3% of the Earth's water is available as fresh water suitable for drinking (source: NASA). According to the UN, "[one] billion people lack access to [an] improved water supply." Worse, "2.6 billion people lack access to improved sanitation" and "[i]f the 1990-2002 trend continues, it is thought that some 2.4 billion people will be without improved sanitation in 2015 - almost as many as are without today" (source: UN).

What can be done? Blog Action Day is calling upon people to sign a petition supporting the UN's efforts to bring clean water and sanitation to the developing world. The hope is that Blog Action Day will bring attention to this growing, glaring problem and, hopefully, will spur positive change. The United States Fund for UNICEF is sponsoring this petition.

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