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Beatrice Mutai is only 13, but she knows first-hand that small changes can make a big difference. Until last year, she would wake up before dawn every morning to fetch water from the Ewaso Ng’iro River.
Here in Canada, most of us don't really think about water. Easy access to clean drinking water is part of our daily expectations. But in many parts of Kenya, where I recently visited to see some of Plan International Canada's programs, it's impossible not to think about water -- or rather, the severe lack of it.
For millions of people around the globe, water, sanitation and hygiene conditions have improved. Still, in 2017, 663 million people are using unsafe drinking water. VII Photo's Ashley Gilbertson photographed in seven countries for UNICEF, making portraits of families and their daily water use.
Each year on March 22, UN-Water calls on people everywhere to help tackle the global water crisis. It's a great goal -- but can feel like a pretty tall order. More than 663 million people have no safe water supply close to home. That's way more people than occupy all of North America.
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
This World Water Day millions of people who share our planet are constantly thinking about water. How could they not be? Their children die from waterborne illnesses, because the local stream is contaminated. Others forfeit their schooling to trek long distances for water each day.
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March 22 is "World Water Day," the international day to think about water issues. It is also the first-ever meeting of the Great Lakes Guardians Council, a new advisory group created under Ontario's Great Lakes Protection Act. The Guardians couldn't meet at a better time. The Great Lakes need all the help they can get.
Earth's oceans, lakes, rivers and streams are its circulatory system, providing life's essentials for people, animals and ecosystems. Canada has one-fifth of the world's freshwater, a quarter of its remaining wetlands and its longest coastline. With this abundance, it's easy to take water for granted. Many of our daily rituals require its life-giving force. Yet do we recognize our good fortune in having clean, safe water at the turn of a tap?
And around the world, it might even be considered a luxury.
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At any given time, there are thousands of Canadians who cannot safely drink the water out of the taps in their homes. In some extreme cases, they may not even have indoor plumbing. The worst part is that for many, help isn't on the way.
Twenty-two years ago, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22 to be World Water Day. In a world is facing a severe and growing water crisis without a roadmap, this day is more important than ever. Our collective abuse of water has caused the planet to enter "a new geologic age" -- a "planetary transformation" akin to the retreat of the glaciers more than 11,000 years ago. This is according to 500 renowned scientists brought together in Bonn at the invitation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on May 2013.
This Sunday is World Water Day. We're pretty lucky in Canada -- we don't really have to think about fresh water. When we need it, we turn on the tap and it's there. In summer we can jump into it and run through it. In winter we can glide over it or build it into sculptures. There are many amazing Canadians who refuse to take this gift for granted.
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In 2012, I started a project to build wells in Africa and my original goal was to raise $2,000 to build one well. I reached my goal, I decided to raise another $2,000 - and I kept fundraising until I raised over $9000 for clean water projects in Tanzania.
Most Canadians begin consuming water from the moment they wake, whether they’re drinking it, cooking with it, or using it for sanitation. With fresh, clean water flowing out of our taps at the twist o...
We don't think much about water here in Canada - just turn on the tap and out it pours! But around the world, clean water is more elusive. It can mean the difference between life and death. For World...