Water, its one my favourite things. Rivers and waterfalls bring a sense of calm to me. Lakes and oceans remind me of the vastness of creation. Water to drink can be refreshing and showers, well, showers can be a little piece of heaven on earth – warm baths in a soaking tub with candles, soft music, and a good book can be a piece of the same.
But can also be deadly – not just as i found out through near drowning experiences – but through floods, carrying disease, or simply not having access to it. According to google, over 70% of the world is covered in water and yet millions don’t have access to water. Growing up, I always found this funny – big vast oceans and people with no water? Perhaps that had a little to do with the fact that i grew up in Canada which has about 7% of the world’s renewable freshwater sources and water from the tap is common, clean, and cheap. But oh have I learned about my privileged upbringing.
Over the holidays I spent some time in Tanzania with friends who try to practice sustainable living. While I was there, we ran out of water, so our plans for the day/week were altered and centred around getting water and rather quickly please 🙂 Thankfully, we had a pickup truck that we could put a large tank in the back and drive to the neighbours who still had water flowing and fill the tank to bring “home.” It reminded me of another thing I take for granted. Water. It reminded me of another friends’ house in London who has a sign in the bathroom that reminds you of the average amount of a water a shower takes and the average amount of water that most refugees have in refugee camps throughout the world – the international standard that most humanitarian aid agencies attempt to achieve is 15 litres of water per person per day. That’s 15 litres of water per day for everything – drinking, laundry, cooking, and long hot luxurious baths and showers! Ok not the last one, but it does include bathing.
Does it mean that I feel guilty when I take a shower? Nope. On good days, it makes me feel grateful for the access to water that I have, frankly on most days, i don’t even think about it. And yet i wonder if everyone in the world would only be supplied 15 litres of water each day no matter what, would this be considered a crisis that needed to be addressed and like, now?