Opinions & Editorials

Stop Taking Clean Water for Granted

BY KYLEIGH PANETTA

STAFF WRITER

Turn on a faucet in the United States and you are usually guaranteed clean water that is safe to bathe in, cook with and drink.

According to unwater.org, this is sadly not the reality for 783 million people in the world. Too many people do not have access to a necessity for life, clean water. Even in the U.S., it is not a guarantee that 100% of the citizens have access to water.

We live in a country that considers it a necessity to have a toilet. In many places where water is not sanitary, it is because there is fecal matter in the water supply because toilets are considered a luxury.

Manhattan College’s CRS ambassadors are aiming to make the student body more aware of the harsh reality that many people face on a day-to-day basis due to water scarcity.

Since March 22 was World Water Day, it only seemed appropriate that MC’s CRS ambassadors wanted to use that week to spread the word about this global issue.

However, MC’s CRS ambassadors just finished hosting an international conference through CRS last week and many of the events fell through and will be rescheduled for later in the semester.

I really encourage Manhattan College students to participate or attend the events that they have planned. The events include a filtration demo to show students different ways people filter their water and a water relay to simulate the struggle that people have transporting water to their homes.

It is a shame that people in developed countries take advantage of clean water. We have the option to walk over to a device that will give us water with the twist of a knob. And we do not think twice about it.

This past spring break, I had to think twice about the availability of water when I went to El Salvador with Manhattan College’s L.O.V.E. program.

We stayed in a volunteer house that thankfully had cold running water but we still couldn’t drink it or use it to brush our teeth. And when we traveled to small towns in El Salvador, it was clear that running water was a luxury. Most of the water in homes we went to was stored in buckets or pouches. And forget about a sink or toilet.

I have been exposed to and have volunteered in an underdeveloped country before, but somehow I always forget about how lucky we are to have safe running water. We are trained to think that running water is a normal thing, but we are truly lucky.

Imagine if you had to walk miles every day carrying only enough water to last one day. Imagine if you had to risk your health because the water you were drinking could deposit a parasite into your body. Imagine if this same contaminated water that you could not drink had to be used to clean your wounds.

The truth of the matter is that water is a necessity for life. Without water, the human body perishes within three days.

We should be much more aware of our water usage and the role that water has in lives around the world. It is essential to understand that we are lucky to have clean safe water whenever we want it.

Water and sanitation is an excellent topic for some of MC’s CRS ambassadors to advocate for. Too many people are unaware of the lack of clean water in the world and that needs to change.

The only way to change the poor quality or lack of water around the world is to talk about it and educate people. Go even further and remind your friends and family that water is not a resource to be wasted.

Stop pouring out half empty water bottles and start talking about how wrong it is that people don’t have access to water like we do.

Next time you leave the water running while you are brushing your teeth or can drink water straight from the tap, be thankful for the circumstances in which you live.