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‘Water gives life to the world and does not strive.’ – Lao Tsu
It is the source of all Life, yet in most ‘developed’ places we take it for granted. Still, few could go even a single day without it. So, consider that 1 in 9 people worldwide do not have access to safe and clean water. What would you do if you could not provide a drink of water to your child? The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone uses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; the same as an entire year’s labor in all of France. It’s usually fetched by women and girls.
March 22nd is World Water Day. We have compiled some basic resources to help imagine the kind of future we want as fresh water becomes increasingly scarce. How will we manage this precious resource fairly so the needs of all Life can be met? How can we use water as a means to build cooperation and trust, instead of another excuse for conflict?
We hope you use this time to remember Water, enjoy its beauty and think to conserve it however you can; maybe take part in efforts to protect and maintain your local watershed, or contribute in even deeper ways. According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34.
Please share these articles. On Twitter, you can use #WorldWaterDay and #WaterIs to share messages about Water and Sustainability @UN-Water. And visit http://www.unwater.org/worldwaterday to learn more.
Water is a beautiful metaphor for the mind. We speak of being ‘in the flow’, our feelings as calm or troubled, our emotions ‘stirred’. Perhaps it’s because we ourselves are mostly composed of water, and we recall our primordial source, the pull of the sea. Ours is a state of interbeing with all the waters of the earth…yesterday’s wandering cloud is surely the tea in our cup today. The changing season reminds us of water’s remarkable ability to transform and to carve a new course when needed.
May we be like that.
Digital Editor, Kosmos
March 22nd is World Water Day. To be conversant about water and issues around its uses, here are some fascinating facts and statistics compiled by UN Water.
97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water. Of this nearly 70% is frozen in the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland; most of the remainder is present as soil moisture, or lies in deep underground aquifers as groundwater not accessible to human use. Only 1% of the world’s fresh water is accessible for direct human uses – all uses – including drinking, bathing, agriculture and manufacturing.
“My deep belief is that we are not looking at the big picture when we create economic and development policy. Almost every government in the world bases all their policies on the growth imperative. Unlimited growth, more stuff, more trade, less regulation, more power to the corporations. It’s no coincidence that it’s good for certain wealthy groups that can buy their way out of this crisis. This system is destroying water. We do not have the right kind of thinking in most capitals… If they talk about water it’s as a result of climate change, but it’s not a result of climate change, the abuse of water and the displacement of water from where it should be, is one of the causes of climate change. And we absolutely need a separate process. Governments have to wake up.” – Maude Barlow
by Rhonda Fabian
Water Cooperation agreements are becoming increasingly important and there are numerous examples where transboundary waters have proved to be a source of cooperation rather than conflict.
Mobilizing political will and commitment to address water issues worldwide is critical now, and new ways are needed to approach local, regional and international cooperation, including strong citizen participation in decision-making. The people who rely on waterways for survival and livelihood should be the first ones consulted on its fair use at the local, bioregional and international levels. And all decisions have to be made in a way that respects the biophysical limits of the earth.
“According to the Ancestors we believe that the milky way is the cosmic river that appears each night in the sky and that touches the tips of two important glaciers in the Andes. From this connection the milky way donates a part of herself and gives us the sacred water that is then manifested here on Earth as a legacy for all of humanity. It is this sacred water that creates our rivers and oceans and that connects us here on Earth to our origins in the stars.” – Jhaimy Alvarez-Acosta
ICE (H20) is an ongoing project that portrays the effects of Global Warming. The world, as it has been for millennia, is changing and Jasmine Rossi has chosen photography as a medium to stir our conscience and make us reflect on the dire question of the future of our planet.
Blue ice was formed at a time when the poles had not yet been reached by man, and the world was still uncontaminated. It may be hundreds, even thousands, of years old and is a metaphor for the purity lost.
Green ice is extremely rare, and also dates back from a time when the planet was still pristine. Green ice includes microscopic algae, and is a metaphor for the delicate composition of the ocean’s waters and the balance of the elements on the planet.
Via – A Mighty Girl
17-year-old Mighty Girl Cynthia Lam of Melbourne, Australia wants to help people living without access to clean water and electricity — and this ingenious young inventor has developed a device that can purify water and generate electricity using only the power of the sun!
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