Blog Action Day: Water and Life

Water is simply one of the single best gifts that man ever received. Different people call it a great many different names. Some even give it a lofty importance. Chemists call it the “universal solvent” as an acknowledgement to the superiority of water over all other solvents. While some, call water the “sustainer of life” owing to the fact that water supports the life here on Earth.

Water is indeed such an important resource and we all depend on it for survival. Ironically, many of us just ignore water, take it for granted, not caring about what could possibly occur if all the earthen waters get soiled. In the end, it is us who suffer.

This year, a huge El Niňo season devastated millions worth of crops and livestock in the Philippines. There is no way we can get that back.

Even in the world’s biggest countries, water is gradually becoming a scarce resource. However, it is the poor who are hit hard. Those who have no water reserves and can’t afford to buy water. See, according to the UN, “Across the globe, about 4,500 children die each day from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation facilities. Over 90% of deaths from diarrhea diseases from unsafe water and sanitation occur in children under 5 years old.” Thing is, water should not be bought. It is a gift and should therefore be shared among all of us.

There are a lot of ways with which each of us can help. As it is said, “change starts from within.” Therefore, we should take steps to make sure that we are not wasting water and are making the most out of this precious gift. Here are some simple and practical ways with which can help us save water and help ourselves taken from 100 Ways To Conserve of WaterUseItWisely :

  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons every time.
  • Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.
  • For cold drinks keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
  • Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save water every time.
  • When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.
  • Walkways and patios provide space that doesn’t ever need to be watered. These useful “rooms” can also add value to your property.
  • Collect water from your roof to water your garden.
  • When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
  • Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.

These are just some of the ways with which we can help the worsening water situation here on Earth. It all starts from all of us. One simple step a day can go a long way.

Right now, we can also do more. The UN needs our help.

Take action today in support of the UN’s work to supply clean, safe drinking water to the world’s poorest populations and urge UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to continue the UN’s life-saving work bringing water and sanitation to developing nations.

Through continued efforts of the United Nations and organizations like UNICEF, the world is currently on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal on water. With the exception of sub-Saharan Africa, all regions should meet their water targets — but only through continued dedication and efforts by the UN and member countries.

Together with partners like UNICEF, we are on a path to provide clean, safe drinking water to millions around the world who need it most.

Helping the UN with there efforts is as simple as signing the petition.

Support the UN's Efforts to Bring Clean, Safe Water to Millions

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Blog Action Day: Ondoy, Pepeng, Climate Change and the Philippines

The Philippines, more specifically in the north, has recently been devastated by two typhoons that came after each other. Typhoon Ondoy, called Ketsana internationally, gave the north heavy rains and flashfloods. Typhoon Pepeng worsened the damage caused by Ondoy. While Ondoy left the country after a while, Pepeng stayed longer almost not moving. Typhoon Quedan came along but it was good that it didn’t stay and left the Philippines quick.

Both Ondoy and Pepeng left huge marks in their unwanted visit to the Philppines.

Ondoy was there to start the devastation. Crops, houses, communities, and worst, lives were destroyed. Almost everyone who was affected by the storm was like, “We’re back to zero.” And, as if that wasn’t enough, typhoon Pepeng came along. It didn’t just pass by, it lingered and stayed for a while – as if it doesn’t want to leave the Philippines. This is when the residents of Northern Philippines was able to say, “This is worse than going back to zero. It’s like, back to negative.”

Well, they can’t be blamed if they can say so. They have no more houses to go back to. Prices of commodities soared while the people can’t afford to buy anything. Farmers lost their crops and their produce.

If there is anything good that came out of this, it is that we saw everyone trying to help each other. Networks, companies, and the such was able to forget about defeating each other and came together to send relief to the unfortunate ones. Professionals were able to forget their professionals fees and went out of their comfort zones to vist the people who have been destroyed by the typhoons.

But how does these typhoons connect to the climate change now evident hear on earth?

This year’s Blog Action Day focuses on the talk on “Climate Change.” A lot of people are now taking action pushing for world leaders to do the right thing this December at Copenhagen where they will convene for a new cliamte protocol that will continue what the Kyoto Protocol has started.

Climate change can affect us in ways we wouldn’t like. One of these is extreme weather conditions. Yes, it is supposed to be the wet season in the Philippines butOndoy and Pepeng was just too much. Rains and flooding went way past the usual level they reach. In some areas, floods were deeper than a person. Most people had to stay in, at least, the second floor of their houses, if they have one. If they don’t, they had to swim, yes swim, to the nearest one.

Since rain records began in 1766, the amount of winter rainfall in England and Wales has risen. Over the last 45 years it has also become heavier; in 2000, UK flooding was the worst for 270 years in some areas. Flood damage now costs Britain about £1 billion a year.

Globally, climate change means that extreme weather events – like floods, droughts and tropical storms – will become more frequent and dangerous.

Leptospirosis is almost an epidemic in the north. This is due to the floods that hasn’t been drained. It is evident that climate change is also bound to spread diseases. Malaria and dengue will be two of those that is bound to worsen with this.

Climate change is also bound to increase living costs. Water supply will decrease. Plants might not be able to survive the heat and the drought will definitely be difficult to combat when the supply of potable water is also short. In turn, the supply of food, vegetables, fruits, and even the meat, will not be able to meet its demand. When the supply is way lower than the demand, prices are bound to increase.

These are just some of the devastating effects of climate change. More effects of climate change will be evident sooner or later. Global warming is also bound to destroy all the fun we are currently enjoying here on earth.

We can just hope that everything will go right at Copenhagen this December 2009.