We Can’t Put Our Heads in the Sand
Did you know that the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written just after World War II, did not mention water? And that when the General Assembly voted to add the right to water and sanitation in 2010, the United States abstained from voting?
Did you know one out of nine people in the world don’t have access to clean water? And that 2-3 billion people lack basic sanitation? That 5,000 children per day die as a result? (As a frame of reference, there are 4,500 children in Holland public schools.)
Did you know within 25 miles of Lake Michigan there are four townships in Ottawa County (north of Holland, south of Grand Haven, west of Hudsonville) with limited access to abundant groundwater? That in 2008, homeowners on wells in several new subdivisions awoke one morning to find no water flowing from their faucets? And that the farmers in that same area suffered massive crop burn after irrigating their fields? Did you know there is no connection between Lake Michigan and the deep bedrock foundation found in those townships? And that even with abundant rain and snowmelt, their water levels are dropping?
Abundant, cheap, and safe water is not something that can be taken for granted in this world, this country, or even this community. Have you thought about the ramifications? The potential for water wars and what that means to those of us living in the Great Lakes region? Do you know what you can do to conserve water? To help clean up 20% of the world’s fresh surface water that defines this region? To care for and protect Lake Michigan and all our sources of water?
I invite you to watch the video of Tuesday’s Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore: Community and Neighborhood—Glocal Water featuring Dr. David Van Wylen, Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences at Hope College; Paul Sachs, Director of Planning and Performance Improvement for Ottawa County; and me, author and Lake Michigan advocate.
I promise you will learn something new.
9/23/2019 10:44:24 am
Mary, your statistics are staggering. I am beyond saddened by the tragedy of our global water crisis, and if we are to take the steps necessary to prevent an even more widespread catastrophe, then we must first be informed. Thank you for your continued vigilance in doing just that, and thank you for linking your video. You were right--I learned a lot!
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