Water Everywhere…But Not a Drop to Drink!

By Jeff Palmer, CEO on October 30, 2017 | Print

Some of us had to read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Coleridge in a literature class at one time or another. In the verse, Coleridge describes a thirsty sailor surrounded by an abundance of water but it is, of course, undrinkable.

The world today lives in an abundance of water but the fact is, very little of it is drinkable. Our bodies (or so I’m told) are comprised of 2/3 water. 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. However, over 97% of the world’s water is ocean water or salty.

Water is a precious resource. We can’t live without it, at least not for very long. It is one of the things that is more and more defining the future of communities and even nations worldwide. Armed conflicts break out over water rights. Countries and communities constantly struggle with ways to ensure good water sources and quality for their inhabitants.

Not only is over 97% of the world’s water salt-water, another 2% (freshwater) is locked up in glaciers and polar icecaps. This leaves about 0.62% in groundwater, 0.0009% in freshwater lakes/reservoirs, and 0.0001% in the world’s rivers. Water everywhere…but not much so much to drink.

And not all people are created equal when it comes to water and the use of water.

In the United States alone, on the average, each person utilizes about 400 gallons of water per day. Most of that is flushed down the toilet with the second highest usage being our baths/showers

By comparison, in developing countries where the water source is less than one kilometer away, the average use per person is about 9 gallons per day. Where the water source is more than one kilometer distance, the average use per person is about 2.3 gallons per day.

Water and the access to enough and clean drinking water, is a constant struggle for many in the world. On the average about 1.1 Billion people struggle with severe water problems and lack of access each year. That’s about 15% of the world.

I guess you can understand why BGR and other organizations place great importance on clean water projects!

In these next series of blogs, we are going to talk about water. We are going to discuss ways that we can help people, families, and communities have access to more and better quality water. We are also going to see how strategic a water development strategy can be to help you in your goals of accessing and working with your target people and populations.

Water, water everywhere…