Clean water vs. Dirty water: Which one would you choose?

clean water vs. dirty water drinking glass

Many people think of water as unlimited, however it’s not, it’s a finite resource. Although 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water less than 3% is fresh water, and .08% is viable as water suitable for human and animal consumption, meaning that nearly 1 billion people go without clean water everyday.

http://youtu.be/cpUI0jjR-_U

Internationally more people have mobile phones than access to a toilet. The number of people lacking access to clean water is equal to 2 ½ times the United States. But it’s not just about the shortage of water as a source for humans, but for the production of crops as well. It takes 1000 tons of water to yield 1 ton of grain, meaning that water scarcity contributes to worldwide food scarcity as well.

As the global water crisis continues solutions for delivering safe, and clean water to the world's growing population has become an increasingly pressing issue. Not only does water need to be available for consumption, but resources must also be in place to supplement water for crops, and other sanitation needs, especially in places of drought, where water is unavailable to the majority of the population.

Solutions do exist however, to increase access to clean water with everything from traditional wells, solar devices that decontaminate water, filtration systems, or innovative ideas such as LifeStraw (a personal filtration system.) India is even building dams covered by solar panels to help reduce water loss while also relying on natural energy. Innovate ideas such as these exist, now the global community needs to make sure that the populations most vulnerable to water deprivation are given access to these simple solutions.

In this YouTube video "Water Changes Everything", the Charity Water organization clarifies how the lack of clean water impacts the world on both a local and global scale. This animation shows possible solutions and how small actions can add up to a world of difference.

http://youtu.be/BCHhwxvQqxg


Why Water is a Basic Human Need

human body h2o
How often do you think about the water you’re using when you take a shower, wash your clothes, or flush the toilet? Probably not often. But... Water is a basic human need that links us all.

An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day in fact 3x more people lack water around the world than live in the United States. The majority of the human body is composed of water, approximately 65-90% by mass, so in many ways it doesn’t make much sense that nearly a billion people lack access to clean drinking water. Without clean water our bodies get dehydrated, are more susceptible to disease, and can’t combat the illnesses we do contract.

Every day nearly a billion people don’t have the option to turn on the tap if they’re thirsty; there isn’t a tap available. Most people have to travel long distances to the closest water source whether it’s a well, pond, stream, or puddle; around the world 200 million work hours are spent everyday collecting water. Precious time is wasted, time equivalent to what’s needed to build 28 Empire State Buildings EVERY DAY!

The UN agrees that everyone deserves access to clean water and sanitation and in 2010 declared water a human right. Others have disagreed that water is a fundamental human right and view water as a commodity that should be limited by access to pay. The former CEO of Nestle Peter Brabeck-Letmathe for example has stated that he believes water is not a human right.

With the two contrasting ideas present it certainly begs the question, what do you think about water? Should global access be increased, or limited based on resources? What could the global population accomplish if the time spent collecting water was conserved?

http://youtu.be/GDd2RovVjYk

We've all heard that the majority of the human body is made up of water. In fact, without water we get dehydrated and more susceptible to diseases.

We've also heard that lack of water leads to death more quickly than lack of food.

So this leads us to wonder: "If water is a basic biological human need, should it be a fundamental human right? Or is it a commodity that is only accessible to those who can afford it?

In this YouTube Video "How Water Affects Your Body" by MedicalAdvices2013, you will learn how important water is to our bodies. These doctors share how important water is to our overall wellbeing.
http://youtu.be/CXGLbqoo9Tw


Enraging and Engaging - Inspired by Rose George & Let's Talk Crap...

http://youtu.be/Ixix7nMI1o8

Fact of Life:

There are 1.7 billion cases of diarrhea every year.That’s 1 in 5 children worldwide. We’ve all had diarrhea, it’s inconvenient, and annoying, but at most means a day off from work or school, a visit to the doctor, and a little medicine.  In the United States adults have diarrhea about four times a year, while children will experience the 7 to 15 episodes before their fifth birthday.

Diearrhea graphic

Diarrhea = Die-arrhea

Those contracting diarrhea in the developing world aren’t so lucky, diarrhea becomes a death sentence. Diarrhea kills more than 660,000 children every year, 90% of deaths are due to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene. Improper sanitation and hygiene lack of clean drinking water, undernourishment, and exposure to open defecation all contribute to the global diarrhea epidemic.

Lack of Sanitation

In developed countries bacteria often cause diarrhea, but here we have access to soap and clean water. In developing countries there is a lack of sanitation and hygiene, 780 million people lack access to an improved water source that’s approximately one in nine people.  While the lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every four hours.

Toilets: A Necessity or a Privilege?

According to WorldToiletDay.org, open defecation is practiced by 1.1 billion people around the world contaminating local water supply sources and exposing others to diseases present within the fecal matter. Around the world the amount of untreated fecal matter could fill the Superdome in just three days.  And the next time your stomach gets a little upset think about the convenience of using a toilet when they have the runs, or those who would never have had that next time in the first place.

Informed & Inspired by Rose George

Have you heard of Rose George? We were informed and inspired by her TED Talk "Let's Talk Crap... Seriously" is both an Engaging and Enraging look at sanitation in this world.

http://youtu.be/ZmSF9gVz9pg


Have you heard about Deepika Kurup and her Solar-Powered Water Purifier?

http://youtu.be/a6kegkC7-oo

There are a plethora of problems that plague the planet. Famine, disease, dirty water…

After a visit to India, one young girl, Deepika Kurup, was inspired to find a solution to unsafe drinking water.

“When on vacation in India, I witnessed the sight of children drinking dirty water from a stagnant pool. I instantly knew I had to do something about the global water crisis.” -- Deepika Kurup

Deepika Kurup invented a device that harnesses solar power to disinfect water at a rate much more substantial than existing technologies, an invention that has the potential to provide clean water for people across the globe.

Lack of access to sanitation and hygiene in the developing world causes many health problems, especially for children who are at an increased risk of contracting diseases from unsafe drinking water. Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old, and 90% of deaths are due to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene, and is made worse by health problems that affect many children in third world countries. Deepika’s invention could offer a simple and cost-effective solution to cleaning water sources for thousands of people around the world.

Since winning 25,000 dollars from the Discovery Kids Science Fair with her invention Deepika has met with President Obama, shared the technology with several companies, and plans to use the prize money as a start program to harness the technology in India.

Deepika’s success makes you wonder… how many more simple and effective solutions exist to international problems that can be solved by kids? What sort of technologies can children invent if given the opportunity?

The following YouTube video featuring Deepika Kurup, is an inspiring way to learn more about her work:

http://youtu.be/71c95-LoBok


Jack Andraka - An Inspiring Teenager

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Upon hearing the story of Jack Andraka, a 15-year old teenager who developed a quick, easy and simple way for the early detection of pancreatic cancer, I started to think of the many ways that young people are contributing to our global progress. Jack’s story is inspiring, not just because it’s going to revolutionize screening for cancer, but because he allows us to question about global potential.

Consider this:

  • What if every child around the world were not only given the opportunity of life?
  • What if every child had their dreams and curiosities encouraged?

At the most basic level, teenagers like Jack are able to make these types of contributions because they are here, alive. Young adults like Jack can make these contributions to their villages, communities, towns, cities and countries because they've managed to get through their first five years of life, when childhood mortality is at its highest. How different would the world be if the 19,000 children that die everyday grew up to be strong, healthy, and protected from preventable and treatable diseases?

Jack invented a cancer test strip that is 26,000 times cheaper, 128 times faster and 400 times more sensitive than existing models. With a 90% accuracy rate in testing for prostate and other cancers, and costing only 3 cents and takes five minutes to run. The medical and science community was revolutionized by Jack ever since he won the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last year. Jack now has a fantastic future in front of him, ev en after being turned down 199 times when requesting lab space for his experiment. Only one professor from Johns Hopkins took a chance with him.

If you haven't yet seen the YouTube video of this incredible teenager. I'd love for you watch it for yourself and it is included below:
http://youtu.be/pmVzs3-GNBc

You can also watch his TEDx Talk below:
http://youtu.be/r55a0FapF2M

Did you know that there are millions of children under five years old dying every year from preventable causes? This translates to approximately 19,000 children every single day. Doesn't this make you wonder about the human potential being lost, every day? How about every year? As you may know, our work here at the Children's Prize focuses on finding the best plan that proposes to save the greatest number of children's lives from 0 to 5 years of age. The winning plan will be awarded a $1 million dollar prize. You never know the potential that could be released in saving the lives of these children. Who knows? One might grow up and change the world!