Wednesday March 22 is World Water Day. Water is absolutely necessary for life and yet it is estimated that, on a worldwide basis, 1 in every 6 people does not have access to safe drinking water and that every 14 seconds someone dies from contaminated water.
In most of Canada we are blessed with safe water from our taps, for a very reasonable cost. And yet we complain that it isn't good enough, we buy bottled water for drinking (the amount of water spent on bottled water annually would be far more than is needed to ensure that everyone in the world had safe, clean drinking water from a municipal source). It is up to all of us to protect our water supply and to press governments to ensure that all people have safe water to drink.
The Ecumenical Justice group KAIROS has made water their focus for this year. For more information about the concerns they are raising go to http://www.kairoscanada.org/e/action/campaign.asp. Clean, safe water for all is a possibility. This Wednesday whenever you fill a glass from the tap, or flush a toilet, or step into the shower take a moment to think about how lucky we are to have safe water. And say thank you. Water is a gift. It should be a birthright. Let us all work to ensure that we can always have it, that everyone has a chance to have it.
One sixth of the world have bad water (really bad water, stuff that reminds us we have nothing to complain about). In the time you took to read this letter many people have died because of bad water. It has to stop. It can stop. But only if we are willing to make it stop.