Blog action day 2010 – stirring a drop of spiritual hope into efforts on global water issues!

Water is rearing its head as a big problem across the globe.  It already is a problem for many, and it is predicted to become so in the future for the rest of us.   Blog Action Day 2010 is an invitation to all bloggers to blog on this one issue on this day.

I am a blogger representing people whose lives have been profoundly touched by experiences of the boundless capacities for good of the solution-oriented God that Jesus proved by his healing ministry.  So I want to add a little something to my heartfelt thumbs-up for all the practical good being implemented or planned. I want to add to the ocean of thought which compassionately cares about water challenges a couple of spiritual thoughts that have inspired me – in the hope they will help inspire others who believe in the power of prayer to lift their thought to understand divine Spirit as “a very present help in [all kinds of] trouble”…including water trouble!

The Bible has many illustrations of how an understanding of God’s love brings needed supply to light when it seems to be lacking -‘Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

God is Father-Mother, Love, who is always on hand to respond to our needs as we turn to Him/Her in prayer – “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need…The miracle of grace is no miracle to Love.”  (Mary Baker Eddy)

Perhaps spiritual ideas like these can bring impetus to the efforts of those diligently working to solve the world’s water issues by a prayerful surge of support like the kind we recently saw for the Chilean miners and their rescuers!

* * * * *

Below is a picture of the present and predicted problem of lack and over-consumption, as well as an inkling of some positive action already being taken, as shared with bloggers by the Blog Action Day 2010 team.

Nearly 1 billion people lack access to clean water, which causes a litany of struggles, diseases and even death.

  • 40 Billion Hours: African women walk over 40 billion hours each year carrying cisterns weighing up to 18 kilograms to gather water, which is usually still not safe to drink. More Info »
  • 38,000 Children a Week: Every week, nearly 38,000 children under the age of 5 die from unsafe drinking water and unhygienic living conditions. More Info »
  • Wars Over Water: Many scholars attribute the conflict in Darfur at least in part to lack of access to water. A report commissioned by the UN found that in the 21st century, water scarcity will become one of the leading causes of conflict in Africa. More Info »
  • A Human Right: In July, to address the water crisis, the United Nations declared access to clean water and sanitation a human right over. But we are far from implementing solutions to secure basic access to safe drinking water. More Info »

Water over-consumption in industrialized countries:

While the developing world faces a water crisis, those in industrialized countries consume far more than their fair share.

  • Food Footprint: It takes 24 liters of water to produce one hamburger. That means it would take over 19.9 billion liters of water to make just one hamburger for every person in Europe.More Info »
  • Technology Footprint: The shiny new iPhone in your pocket requires half a liter of water to charge. That may not seem like much, but with over 80 million active iPhones in the world, that’s 40 million liters to charge those alone. More Info »
  • Fashion Footprint: That cotton t-shirt you’re wearing right now took 1,514 liters of water to produce, and your jeans required an extra 6,813 liters. More Info »
  • Bottled Water Footprint: The US, Mexico and China lead the world in bottled water consumption, with people in the US drinking an average of 200 bottles of water per person each year. Over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to manufacture those water bottles, 86 percent of which will never be recycled. More Info »

Water and the environment:

The disregard for water resources in industrialized countries impacts more than humans – it causes environmental devastation.

  • Waste Overflow: Every day, 2 million tons of human waste are disposed of in water sources. This not only negatively impacts the environment but also harms the health of surrounding communities. More Info »
  • Polluted Oceans: Death and disease caused by polluted coastal waters costs the global economy $12.8 billion a year. More Info »
  • Uninhabitable Rivers: Today, 40% of America’s rivers and 46% of America’s lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life. More Info »

Water solutions:

The good news is that there are great organizations working on solutions and new tools that empower people to do their part to address the water crisis.

  • Building Wells: Organizations like Water.org and charity: water are leading the charge in bringing fresh water to communities in the developing world.
  • Technology for Good: Do you want to measure how much water it took to make your favorite foods? There’s an app for that. More Info »
  • Conservation Starts at Home: The average person uses 465 liters of water per day. Find out how much you use and challenge your readers to do that same. More Info »
  • Keeping Rivers Clean: We can all take small steps to help keep pollution out of our rivers and streams, like correctly disposing of household wastes. More Info »
  • Drop the Bottle: Communities around the world are taking steps to reduce water bottle waste by eliminating bottled water.More Info »
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Author:Tony Lobl

I write on spirituality and health for a diversity of online media outlets, from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I have been published by the Independent, the Washington Post, the Guardian, E-Hospice, MindBodyGreen and The Christian Science Monitor and I post regularly on the Huffington Post UK and BuzzFeed. In addition to writing and broadcast appearances I enjoy engaging with journalists, academics, health professionals and government officials about the possibilities for improving health outcomes through a greater emphasis on spirituality in healthcare and social care. I've also greatly valued the many opportunities I have had to travel globally for my church and to meet people around the world. My wife Jenny and I spent 10 years in Boston, USA, before returning to London in 2002, to take on a role as the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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2 Comments on “Blog action day 2010 – stirring a drop of spiritual hope into efforts on global water issues!”

  1. Sandi
    October 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    I love that you are tackling important topics that seem almost daunting to solve — and that don’t directly affect the Western world — yet. So we haven’t a whole lot of incentive — yet.
    We need to care. I heard of a simple invention already in use, a type of merry go round that the children push and ride on, and it pumps water up from the ground. That doesn’t create more water, but it does provide drinkable water. There are surely other clever inventions on the one hand, as well as an awakening commitment to caring for our global neighbors in ways that cut over-consumption.
    I believe divine Love does meet all human needs, and it’s our nature to want to be part of the solution.

  2. October 15, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    That’s neat, Sandi. I like the idea of making play productive…sounds like a description of my adulthood…! :) But, yes, I do believe that the prayer of spiritual understanding has its role in solving these problems, and that we can do more to bring it to bear on these vital issues.

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