Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Thirsty

It's still fresh and warm in my mind what my primary school teacher once said, "water is inexhaustible resources, look at the vast ocean, we will never run out of water". NOTTT. Sorry to add another problem to your already problematic life, but oil is an old dilemma and the hot seat is now reserved for water shortage problem.

It may seem unlikely to imagine our blue and watery planet, whose almost three-quarters of its surface is covered by water, is facing water shortage. Well, this is possible because big portion of it is salt water, and that leaves us with only 1% of potable water.

And even with the sparse 1%, we are acting as if we can have it forever for free (there's an ongoing debate about putting a price on water; in Las Vegas, people can only sprinkle their garden during certain amount of time). And when the world's population grow to 9 billion by 2050 from 6.7 billion today and consume (read: waste) as much as we are, the world will literally collapse. Worse, this fact holds true not only for water, but also for all environmental components - energy, forest, food, you name it.

It is true that technology and massive projects (like the "Big Straw" project and the "Three Gorges Dam" in China) are favorable, but they are too costly and experts still believe water conservation is the most effective action.

So What? Why is this problem important?
Again, this calls for great attention because we, most of the time, turn a blind eye to this issue. We are wasting clean water and do not feel the slightest regret about our consumption while our brothers in India are waking up restlessly each morning, in fear whether the tap is going to run. For those who are from Indonesia, I believe we are familiar with the images of street children dancing and mother 'laundrying' on a water fountain. Or those drivers who instinctively clean their rickshaw or bajaj simply at the occurrence of flood. And we still dare to say that this is not desperate?

I'm not arguing for us to cut that 30 minutes shower and start to collect rain water for your garden, I'm just simply bringing this dire need to your attention. Let's take a bird's eye view : some of us may not live long enough to see the ramifications of this problem, but our next generation will have to live through it - if actions are not taken. I believe it won't hurt us to let this idea sinks in and, in our own capacity, take some visible and simple actions. Maybe as simple as not letting the tap running unnecessarily. Or for some of us, maybe spending less time in shower actually spares you more beneficial times.

So, living as a human in this inter-related world, we should realize that the world is not for us to exploit. As much as we want to have clean running water every time we open the tap, I believe, at the very least, our children deserve to get the same quality of water to refresh their face after a long day at work cleaning all other problems that our generation has inherited to them.

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