In the United States we are blessed to have fresh water that meets many of our needs. If we want to continue to enjoy all the benefits of that water, we have no choice but to take steps to protect and properly treat it. Otherwise we can keep our heads in the sand and wait for someone else to fix the problem. But hey, there's water on the moon, right? I'll start packing.
Once people have access to a well and a toilet their lives improve drastically, especially so for women. In Malawi women and girls are typically responsible for bringing water to the household, a task that can sometimes take an hour per trip, for as many as 10 trips each day. Many women make these trips in the dark and are subject to sexual harassment and rape. They typically spend so much time finding water that many women are unable to spend much time with their families and as they grow older, many girls no longer have time to go to school.
Filmmaker Josh Fox interviewed families whose drinking water wells had gone bad after fracking began on or near their land. Their water is now discolored, foul-smelling and in many cases flammable. For the most part, the drilling companies claim no responsibility, although many have settled claims with victims.
When prompted to consider water pollution, most people envision classic point sources; the corroded factory pipe, the municipal waste treatment plant, the oil behemoth's offshore well. But when I don my Water Pollution Contemplation Cap, I inevitably envision industrial livestock facilities.
Our friends at Meatless Monday are at it again...getting some fantastic coverage in the news, that is. The movement is spreading throughout the country and even Oprah, Michael Pollan and Chef Kathy Freston are enthusiastically showing their support for Meatless Monday.