Today we celebrate 25 years of the United Nations’ World Water Day! This year’s theme is “Nature for Water” as we explore nature-based solutions to the planet’s water problems in the 21st century.
Throughout the years, the planet’s damaged ecosystems have impacted the quantity and quality of water obtainable for human consumption. This situation currently leaves 2.1 billion people without access to safe drinking water at home and in turn affects their health, education, and livelihoods. Here in the Philippines, nine million Filipinos have no choice but to rely on unimproved, unsafe, and unsustainable water sources.
The country’s unusually hot weather is a byproduct of climate change, alongside less rainfall in some areas, more erratic weather, and longer droughts. The blazing heat also increases water demand because let’s face it, taking a shower is the best way to cool down. However, we need to think of solutions to our water problems. By applying the Water Demand Management framework, which basically means getting the most from the water that we have now, we can help communities gain access to safe water.
The USAID Be Secure Project created a short film to help us out. Check it out:
Let’s start at home. Water used for personal hygiene utilizes about 12% of your household’s water usage, and with some minor changes you can lessen your water bill and practice water efficiency. The simple act of turning off the tap in between shampooing/conditioning/soaping, and wetting and rinsing your toothbrush can save your family up to 10 gallons of water every day. On top of that, fill up a glass with water instead to measure how much water you actually need. Kick it up a notch with some home replacements–faucet aerators, toilet tank displacement, and low flow shower heads! These easy revisions to your daily routine can help reduce water wastage.
We can also continue with an alternative course of action and extend our helping hand outside our homes. Water.org, an American nonprofit developmental aid organization co-founded by Matt
Damon and Gary White, have extended their assistance to the Philippines. They aim to reach more than two million people with safe water and sanitation by the end of 2018, and you can help out with a little moolah. Head on over to their website and pick up a goodie from one of their business partners (custom Stella Artois chalice, anyone?), or simply donate what you’re able to all in a click of a mouse.
There’s a high chance the Philippines will experience severe water shortage by the year 2040. With these uncomplicated methods, we can help our underprivileged countrymen in obtaining safe and consumable water while making sure our current benefits stay. Happy World Water Day!