I used to daydream in the shower, letting my mind fog over like the bathroom mirror fogged with steam. Then I became aware of how much water I was wasting with every extra minute I stood there. Now it’s as if I shower at the Bates Motel: I’m in and out quickly. Many of us mindlessly waste water, either because we are just fogging out or because we really don’t know any better. A home-based education on water is what we need. And here’s why: Our homes are where we use the most water in our lives. The average household in America uses about 400 gallons of water per day. That can easily be cut to less than 100 gallons by doing a few simple things. Here are some tips culled from The Green Blue Book.
Live Earth is very proud to partner with Walking for Water, a school-based program to raise awareness around World Water Day on March 22nd. Participating students are sponsored by friends and family and commit to walking 6 kilometers (3.73 miles), carrying 6 liters (1.59 gallons) of water in backpacks to raise funds to finance water projects in developing countries that need it most.
In preparation for the walk, teachers and guest lecturers educate the children about the importance of clean water and adequate sanitation in developing countries.
We are proud to highlight the wonderful Friends of Live Earth Run for Water events being planned around the world for April 18, 2010.
The Friends of Live Earth: Run for Water Oklahoma is a weekend festival focusing on water issues, eco-friendliness and “greening” that will be held in the Oklahoma City’s Adventure District in Oklahoma City. The purpose is to bring education and awareness of how precious our natural resources are -- especially water.
Metro Vancouver is promoting the use of the city’s wonderful tap water instead of purchasing the very unecofriendly bottled water. According to officials in the area, Vancouver is hoping to reduce the city’s bottled water consumption by 20% at the end of the year. This is all part of their Tap Water Campaign.
I spent October 2009 doing a super-intensive water and sanitation course in Bolivia, organized by the Mobile School for Water and Sanitation -- EMAS. There, I met Samuel Ito Cartajena, aged 39, and his wife Hermelinda Yapanqui de Ito. Together with their 16 year-old daughter, they live in Juliaca, a city in the Puno region in southern Peru. Samuel was one of our teachers, and Hermelinda cooked for the twenty of us. This is their story.
Right now I am wearing 5,178 gallons of water. It took 569 gallons to grow the cotton and manufacture the material for my t-shirt, 1,247 gallons for my sneakers, 2,866 gallons for my blue jeans, 244 gallons for my socks, and 252 gallons for my boxers.
Through what we wear, consume, and use on an annual basis each of us in the United States on average is responsible for 656,000 gallons of water. We use more than ten times as much water per day as someone in the developing world.
In December, 21-year old Katie Spotz set off on the adventure of a lifetime — a solo row across the Atlantic Ocean! She is now over halfway between Africa and South America. After 2,500 miles and 70-100 days alone at sea, she will become the youngest person ever to row an ocean solo and the first American to row from Africa to South America.
The Rope pump
In the water sector, as elsewhere, good ideas can be surprisingly old. One such old idea is the rope pump, which is over 2000 years old and was used in ancient China. A rope pump consists of a pipe that reaches down to the water, a rope or chain through the tube, washers attached to the rope that fit snugly inside the tube, and a wheel on top to draw the rope with washers through the pipe. The water is held between the washers in the pipe, and is pulled to the surface.
Every Monday we profile a Dow Live Earth Run for Water partner organization that works toward providing solutions to the nearly 1 billion people who lack access to clean, safe water. To donate to one of these projects, visit liveearth.org/give.
Lien Aid is an international development NGO headquartered in Singapore. Its core mission is to build a firm foundation for human development by making safe water and sanitation accessible and affordable to poor communities in Asia. Founded in 2006 by the Lien Foundation and the Nanyang Technological University, Lien Aid's strength lies in delivering solutions using appropriate technology backed by knowledge transfer. Since its inception, Lien Aid has impacted over 200,000 lives in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam through various water treatment, sanitation and community development initiatives.
A shelter at an orphanage in Rwanda, made with ferrocement and bamboo. Photo ferrocement.com.
When I say "water tank," what image is conjured up in your mind? Is it one of those large black plastic tanks which you see so frequently in developing countries, usually perched on top of a small tower or on a roof? Millions of those are used around the world, so that image would be very appropriate. When I say "water tank," however, I think of something else entirely. I think of ferrocement: the best, strongest, durable, cheapest, and most versatile construction material I know. And I think of the water tanks I have built myself, using it.