Almost three-fourths of the earth's surface is covered with water. Of that, 97% is salt water, rendering it not fit for drinking. We humans are more than half water.
OK, enough with the statistics. Where is this blog post going?
Well, I am working up to my post of a "first world problem."
Several weeks ago, as I was awaking, my husband informed me we had very little water pressure in the house. After contacting the water company, we learned there had been a break in a major pipeline in the next township from ours, but it was affecting water supplies over a large area.
The first thing I did was fill two large soup pots with cold water--I had enough sense to know that I shouldn't run hot water from the water heater if the pressure was too low to refill the heater quickly.
For several hours that day, the water pressure remained low. Then by late afternoon, the pipe had been repaired and water pressure returned. BUT--because of the interruption in the supply, a boil water advisory was in place.
And that's where my first world problem began. Really? Bringing large pots of water to a boil, a full rolling boil for one minute, and then letting the water cool? Sigh.
OK, I'll do it. But fortunately we had bottled water downstairs--so for our drinking, and even teeth brushing, we could use that. The boiled water? Well, we could use it for the pets and to make coffee.
For the briefest of time, I was scheming and planning--how to get water, how to make sure it was ready for consumption. And all the while, I was feeling...put out. What a problem. All because a water pipe somewhere broke.
Well, that's when the first world problem hit me. What was I thinking? I didn't have to walk any
further than my sink to get water. Even with the low pressure, I still had water. By some estimates more than a billion--that's BILLION--people have to walk miles every day to get water.
And some people drinking the water that is available end up with water acquired infections. Former President Jimmy Carter has made it one of his life's goals to help eradicate guinea worm infections. (By the way, is Jimmy Carter not the best former president ever?) You can read more about his work at the Jimmy Carter Center.
So, for all of two days, we lived under a boil water advisory. We were never without water. We did not get sick. And even our pets were well watered.
First world problem? You bet.
And the current situation is just the beginning--far too many people without adequate water supplies. There are experts who believe the next big world conflict will be over water rights.
For now, turn on your tap (or faucet) for just a couple of seconds. And then say-thank you. And then go find a project to help other people have access to safe readily available water.