Wherein I express myriad incredulities

Blog Action Day: Water

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Today, October 15th, is this year’s Blog Action Day. For 2010, the topic is water. For those of us in places of privilege, it can be very easy to take having clean water for granted. I know I do at times.

Unless I’m at work, where the water comes from a superfund site.

Remember this post? It was a wake-up call for me. I like to think that I make an effort to be aware of issues like this, but I don’t think I ever realized just how huge an impact it has on lives until I felt it on a personal level.

The superfund site by the place where I work use to be the site of a dry cleaner. That dry cleaner pumped their chemicals into the ground for more than 20 years. As a result, the government is pumping vegetable oil into the ground in order to bind with the harmful chemicals and attempt to neutralize them. That area’s produce – especially leafy greens, which act like sponges – has been proven to absorb dangerous chemicals such as the offending ones in the superfund’s case.

Additionally, there is naturally occurring uranium in the soil of the area, which makes its way into the water and produce.

You may have heard of something called the Manhattan Project. Some of those labs are uphill in a facility that has been cited and prosecuted in the past for half-assed control of its radioactive emissions.

All of this means that, while drinking a glass of water at work may not give me cholera, it is NOTHING that I want to ingest. Hydrologists in the area have said that they only drink bottled water around here.

I won’t drink the water here either.

Now, I have the luxury of driving (driving!) down to Walgreens where I can shell out $1.00 for a gallon of spring water that presumably will not give me cancer or contribute unwanted chemicals to my body where they could accumulate and make me feel like crap (because lord knows there are ENOUGH reasons for that already).

Not everyone has this luxury; knowing that your water is clean, or even not having to think about whether your water could make you sick, is a luxury. Millions of people in places like Africa, or Pakistan, or Haiti, or even Hungary after this awful toxic mud spill, don’t know if the water that they drink – the life force that makes up 70% of our bodies – is safe for them to consume.

Women and children walk for miles each way in Africa to collect water for their families, not knowing if that water is going to make them sick.

It’s such a fundamental problem, and it’s not a glamorous one, but it is easily solved. At water.org, $25 will provide clean water to one person for a LIFETIME. charity : water is building wells in communities and documenting it all so that people can see the good work that their money is doing (apparently you could even win a trip to Africa with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, wooo).

Don’t take clean water for granted. Appreciate what you have, and help others to enjoy it for themselves. Don’t let other people live with diseases your character can get as you play Oregon Trail when it is so easy to prevent and requires so little effort on our parts.

</sermon> Your regularly scheduled cheeky commentary will return tomorrow, but please think about this issue today. It’s way more important than anything about which I complain on a daily basis here.


Written by fudgebudget

October 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

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