Water Really Matters
How is your water IQ?
I was so moved by the July “week in water” Diane and I spent in Chautauqua, NY with National Geographic and the Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor that I wanted to bring this “key to survival” back to all of you.
How is your water IQ? How many gallons of water does it take to produce a quarter pounder? A gallon of gasoline? A pair of blue jeans? A cotton T-shirt? A cup of coffee?
Is it more water-efficient to bathe or shower? To use front-loading or top-loading washing machines? To use a dishwasher or wash dishes by hand? To go vegan or rotate your foods? To go to a car wash or wash your own car?
All of this matters. It matters because there is a finite amount of water on our planet to meet the needs of 7 billion people. And although 97.5% of the water is the sea, only 2.5% is freshwater. Two-thirds of that percentage is made of
glaciers, snow, and groundwater. Only 0.3% of that 2.5% is in lakes, rivers, or swamps. And that’s what we mostly depend upon to survive.
Water matters because an estimated 880 million people still don’t have regular access to clean water and 2.5 billion people have no safe way to dispose of human waste. About 5,000 children die each day due to preventable diarrheal
diseases such as cholera and dysentery.
Water matter because the average American uses 100 gallons of water at home every day, while some in our world make do with 2½ gallons.
It’s hard to imagine anything more necessary to life than water, but so taken for granted when we live in well-watered places where we can camp out in the shower every day. Who thinks about it when we brush our teeth, flush the toilet, or
wash the dog?
Who stops to think about where water comes from, who’s waiting in line for it, or how it got here in the first place?
On Rally Day Sunday we began a 7-week journey into the deep, from the beginning of time until the end of life.
We remember how we were birthed out of water and how a baby’s first bath can bring salty tears to a parent’s eyes.
We reflect on how a long walk by an ocean can begin a love affair or start the healing of a broken heart. We’ll picture how a cup of water held out to a thirsty person can become one of the holiest, most sacred things of a human being. And we’ll recall how we have dabbed a loved one’s parched lips with water on a sponge stick during the last hours of life.
Water really matters. We must know we don’t have the power to make or destroy it, only to hoard it, waste it, or pass it around.
Prayerfully join with me as we follow the trail of water from its greatest amount in creation to one of its smallest in a cup.