Water, water everywhere…

Came across a thought provoking website lately. It displays live, updating numbers of world statistics.

(No link yet, dear reader, don’t want you navigating away too soon now, do we)

For example, the number of births in the world this year, numbers of emails sent today, number of cigarettes smoked today (12.8 billion, if you’re interested).

In amongst the rolling meters, this stop-me-in-my-tracks number leapt off the screen;


(people in the world with no safe drinking water source)

I could not stop thinking about that number.

833 million people.

Approx 8% of the world’s population.

Trying to exist without direct access to life’s most essential resource.

Then I starting ruminating on how lucky the (vast, vast) majority of our population of 4.5million are, with fresh, clean water on tap 24/7 in our homes. For free (currently at least).

My final thought process led me to consider the number of these fortunate Irish people, and in the Western World generally, who buy bottled water.

I don’t buy water. Cannot countenance paying for something I can get for free. It’s like buying fresh air.

The idea of someone leaving their tap-filled house, stopping at a shop and handing over cash for water, quite baffles me.

I tried to write a list of reasons why people buy water. Not being a purchaser myself I might not get it right, but here goes;

  • I don’t like the taste/look/smell of my tap water
  • I’m against the flouride that’s in Irish tap water
  • I think the mineral content of bottled water makes it healthier than tap
  • It’s handy for the office/gym/bus
  • It’s better than buying sugar laden soft drinks
  • It’s a useful way to measure my daily intake
  • It looks kinda cool

If some or any of these reasons are yours, then that’s fine. But my challenge is this;

Imagine yourself standing in front of a family or community with no safe running water. Perhaps a group within the tented community of 250,000 people still on Haiti’s earthquake torn streets. Or a village of families in Kenya having long awaited wells currently sunk by Trocaire.

First outline to them the situation regarding water in your own home.

Then explain why you buy it.

833,000,000 people.

Check it out at http://www.worldmeters.info.

And cherish your H2O. I’d drink (tap water) to that.

Thank you.