Measuring the value of water

by Kathryn Lisk & Sarah HarlStaff Writer & Guest Columnist

When looking at statistics regarding access to water worldwide, it is easy to see that there is a problem: all that’s left is working towards the solution.

The Facts:

Across the globe, one in six people lack access to safe, clean drinking water. As a result, 3.5 million people will die this year because of water-related diseases. Approximately 83 percent of these deaths take the lives of children under the age of 14.

In the United States, most people take water accessibility and quality for granted. The amount of water used in taking a five-minute shower is more than an average person in the developing world uses in an entire day.

The water that Americans can access by simply turning on a faucet takes women and children in Jamaica between two and five hours to collect. In addition, the water attained is often contaminated and rarely safe to consume.

Charity: water is one of many non-profit organizations centered around providing clean drinking water to the people that need it the most. Because private donors fund charity: water’s administrative costs, 100 percent of the donations received are used to provide clean water.

Currently, charity: water is working on 1,247 projects worldwide including hundreds in developing countries such as Jamaica, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. Projects vary by area, but can include anything from harvesting rainwater to digging wells.

Instead of spending hours collecting and hauling water, women and children can go to school or hold a job, providing a better future for themselves.

In addition to better employment and education opportunities, improving access to clean drinking water means decreasing rates of mortality and disease. Worldwide, nearly half of all hospital beds are currently occupied by individuals suffering from water-borne illnesses. Simply by providing clean drinking water, doctors and hospitals can focus their attention and funding on other diseases.

What You Can Do to Help:

Contributing as little as $10 to charity: water provides one person with access to clean water for up to 10 years. By eliminating one night at La Casa, you could save the life of an individual who may contract a disease from contaminated drinking water.

In the time it has taken you to read this article, roughly 10 children from developing countries have died from water-related diseases. If everyone on campus donated $3 to charity: water, Simpson College could buy a well, providing water for thousands of people.

Through the rest of the semester, there will be donation jugs located in Holy Grounds and Dunn Library. A door-to-door campaign will also take place. By donating your change, Simpson has the opportunity to truly benefit the lives of many worldwide.

Please consider what a small donation can do for the lives of millions.