Did you realize that approximately 1 billion people worldwide lack access to clean, safe drinking water?
Just think about the implications on human health for these people.
This is why today is vital for not only "environmentalists" but all humans with a beating heart: today is the day to strive to make this figure obsolete, to make water available for everyone.
For this is the United Nations' 20th annual World Water Day, an international effort to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of these resources.
This day was recommended in 1992 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and officially inaugurated the following year. Since then, World Water Day has highlighted various aspects of freshwater - literally fresh water.
If you are drinking a nice glass of even tap water, you may be taking this for granted. But millions of people around the world aren't so lucky.
This particular Mar. 22 punctuates the International Year of Water Cooperation, dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water worldwide.
Officially promoted by UN-Water, the event is overseen by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) designed to bring both awareness and water to dry areas around the globe. This mission is not only critical for human life but for environmental health, a pressing challenge in the face of rapid climate change.
So what does this mean? How does it affect you in your comfortable Hartford condo sipping Evian and eating brie?
The official ceremony was held today from the Netherlands, but closer to home in New York at UN headquarters, they're commemorating this 20th anniversary by getting all member states on board to make real and lasting political changes in water supply and delivery. To read the program, please click here.
So what can you do? First, get involved in the international conversation by clicking here; and follow the International Water Association-endorsed Water Nexus (@WaterNexus on Twitter or find them on Facebook); and follow Bachelorette personality Jef Holm's People Water. Today, 100 percent of proceeds raised will go to Let it Flow, which builds freshwater wells. (Let it Flow will have a fundraiser at The Berrics skaterink in Los Angeles on May 4th, if you happen to be traveling).
But in addition to helping areas of the globe like Africa become more freshwater friendly, work on conserving all water closer to home.
Be mindful. Don't run your sprinklers too long this summer. Think twice about washing your car. Buy a bottle of water or two or three for your friends, neighbors and yes, that random person on the street. Install a low-flow faucet. Never use your toilet to dump trash in or let water run while shaving. Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher and only run it when it's completely full.
And unless you have a sore back, take a quick shower instead of a long bath or, better yet, bathe with a friend. Why not?
To read more about how you can conserve water and precious resources, please visit Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's web site here.