Why Plumbers Are Heroes
The Story of Clean, Filtered Water
It's happening all over the world, though 80% of those world-wide without access to clean water live in either Eastern Asia, Southern Asia or sub-Saharan Africa
Dirty Water Kills
The problem starts with water, but water affects everything. As a result, lack of clean water and sanitation is the 4th highest killer in the world
That means more people die from a lack of clean water and sanitation than from all forms of violence - including war.
1418 children have died from a lack of clean water and sanitation already today - that's 2000 a day.
Clean Water Saves Lives
Access to water means food security. Water feeds whole villages.
It means not having to walk up to three hours at a time to the nearest swamp or pond.
In Sub Saharan Africa some women spend more time collecting water than any other activity they do in the day.
In Africa alone, 40 billion hours are spent each year collecting water - that's equal to the entire workforce of France.
people do not have access to adequate sanitation
that's one third of the world's population.
Diarheal based diseases worldwide cost
6.4 billion working days a year and
544 million school days.
That's time that could be spent learning to read, write, earning an income or taking care of family.
It's this extra time that can become the catalyst for bigger changes in poor countries.
Sanitation Enables Progress
It allows mothers to raise healthy children.
Less money spent on medicines means more money to build schools and infrastructure.
It enables students, especially girls, to stay in school.
This gives people a fighting chance to lift themselves out of poverty rather than fighting to survive
It's Simple Plumbing
How Water's Being Used
It's suprising to realise that some of the poorest countries have the highest per capita water usage. You wouldn't expect Turkmenistan and Guyana to be wasteful with their water. They're not.
Most water useage isn't at home - it's in industry and agriculture - particularly farming.
Not all farming's equal though. For example, 1kg of beef uses almost four times the water 1kg of chicken does. By knowing what a food's water footprint is, you can be water savvy
Who Uses the Most Water Per Head?
Wasteful Rich Countries (Per Head)
The Solution's Not Easy
Being a hero never is. Plumbers have been working to fix the issues, with the same copper pipes, since Ancient Egypt.
The world uses over 3,542,000,000,000,000 litres of water every year
We're not talking about a little piping - England and Wales alone have 338,000 kilometres of piping - enough to reach around the world eight times
The Problem Is Solvable
Is universal access to clean water and sanitation that much to ask?
In rich countries, we can all help by wasting less water.
In poor countries, the priority is giving people access to basic bathroom facilities and sources of clean water.
How You Can Save Water
There are lots of easy things you can do to join in the fight to save water. Here are five of the easiest
- Don’t run water unnecessarily - fill the basin when washing dishes and close the tap when brushing your teeth.
- Check for leaks - a drop per second could waste up to 3000 gallons per year.
- Change to aerated taps and shower heads - they use up to half the amount of water
- Change your eating habits to use food products that use less water to reach your plate.
- When replacing white goods, look out for water usage signs - like the Waterwise quality mark
How You Can Help Abroad
Did you know that it costs less than £5 purchase a locally-made hand pump for a village. Meanwhile £10 can provide a well to reach water far below the ground.
Alternatively, you can donate your time - volunteer to fundraise, or help on the ground - especially if you have plumbing skills.
Water and Plumbing Changes Lives
That's how incredibly important access to clean and fresh water is. It seems like it just about a well or a sand damn or a water filter - but it isn't. It unlocks a community's potential.
It's what plumbers have been working to provide for over 5000 years. Now it's time to play your part.
Please help by donating to The Water Project
The Water Project is a non-profit organization bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.