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Water, Water Everywhere- No.

Updated on August 22, 2013

Water is a right recognize it!

It is four in the morningand the call of nature pulls you from your dreams of lakes and ponds, flowing rivers of endless water, you feel the need and get up and head for the bathroom. When finished you flush and head back for bed.

Later that morning, you are pouring yourself a cup of coffee; the water came from you kitchen tapand little effort was needed to get it.

Later that day, you reach into the fridge and get the water jug or take out a bottle of water that you purchased at the grocery store when you last bought your groceries. Neither action takes much time or thought.

When it comes to our lawns and gardens, many of us have developed some water wise skills and are becoming aware of the importance of water conservation.

For some, this has carried over into our homesand how we use water to prepare our meals and dispose of our personal; waste.

But for many millions of people worldwide, the convenience of turning on the tap and having cool, drinkable water readily available does not exist.

Dirty water is a leading cause of illness and death; globally, a child dies every 15 seconds from causes related to dirty water.

Now if you and I conserve water this will not help those who do not have ready access to water in any direct sense, but if we begin to treat water as the essential resource that it is; a resource that everyone needs access to then things can begin to change.

Water is essential to life like food is; however, while we may last up to three weeks without eating, we will only live for three days without water.

In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) through a proclamation by the General Assembly on December 10 with a count of 48 votes to none with only 8 abstentions.

Included in that Declaration is Article 25 this says;

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Water was not included.

Water and Sanitation

Next steps

A first step towards evolving a new way to view water would be to add an amendment to the UDHR that includes water or to create a new declaration specifically for water.

This will not be an easy task as water is already a major political and economic issue as the supplies in many places which once had ready access to it are drying up.

The Declaration has no force in law which means that people can go hungryor home lessand the country within which they live is not held accountable. So why add water to the list of human rights?

I make this suggestion because we need to see that water belongs to everyone and that no one has the right to claim it and control it. Lakes and rivers cannot be sold and turned into bottled water to be sold in the market place.

This amendment may help bring about the attitude change that sees people growing golf course like front lawns which require large quantities of water; for what e have now is a society where people continue to behave as though water was in an endless supply but in fact when it comes to freshwater:

“only 3% of the world's water supply is freshwaterand two-thirds of that is frozen, forming the polar ice caps, glaciers, and icebergs. The remaining 1% of the total world water supply is freshwater available as either surface water or ground water; ground water accounts for two-thirds of this amount. Surface water is water that is visible above the ground surface, such as creeks, rivers, ponds and lakes. Ground water is water that either fills the spaces between soil particles or penetrates the cracks and spaces within rocks”.

While this may be slowly changing overall, our society insists on lawns and on growing huge fields of crops in places they were never meant to be grown and then trucking these crops to the market place.

There is much that we can do in our own homes and communities to conserve water as we take these steps we develop a new understanding for and an appreciation of a precious element that we all too often take for granted.

This is the first step towards solving the larger global problem that is already causing pain and havoc in far too many countries.

Rainwater Harvesting


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Very good questions, thanks for comenting.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 

    10 years ago from West By God

    The thing is--We don't live in the city--they chose to take over our water supply stating that the owner didn't have a clue as to how the water should be cleaned or divided up.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    I lived in a city where the water was truly undrinkable, it tasted bad and had a funnt odour. A filter was essential.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 

    10 years ago from West By God

    I liked your article. There is one problem that I have come across with fresh water--that which comes from the City is NOT consumable--at least in this area and they claim that it is. What I am talking about is the amount of chlorine they put into it to make it supposedly drinkable. I did a test a few years back on watering my indoor plants. I couldn't figure out why they were dying in a two week time period. I went to a flourist in another town in another part of the state that I live in and they told me it was the water. So I did a test--one plant watered with the tap water and one with rain water----guess what!? The one with the tap water died in two weeks! Now I filter all my drinking water that I use--for plants, the animals and the humans in my house. Outdoor plants get the rain water that I collect when it rains I have all kinds of milk and juice jugs and soda bottles filled with water all over my porch and near my gardens. We need to have a better understanding of what clean fresh water is. We tend to over do things in the effort to make them better. Thanks for the article.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    true enough rm.

  • ripplemaker profile image

    Michelle Simtoco 

    10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    You are so right Bob, we need to conserve water and be grateful for this time when we are able to enjoy its abundance.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for the comments, and kind words.

  • drummer boy profile image

    drummer boy 

    10 years ago from Kirksville,MO

    My uncle lives in Cedar Rapids and they have closed off a bunch of roads. He may not even get to go to Branson with us. How is the stew coming along? I miss you Bob.

  • Marlene_OnTheWall profile image


    10 years ago from Singapore

    Thought-provoking article. Thanks. In Singapore, water is a major public issue -- mainly because a large percentage of the water we use here is purchased from other countries. (Of course, that doesn't stop people like me from taking the current supply for granted)

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks and yes I am. :)

  • lady luck profile image

    lady luck 

    10 years ago from Boston

    and yet another hub to remind me that the human population is ignorant.

    Another great hub Bob, you are on fire.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thinking first would make a difference. Thanks for the comment.

  • Katherine Baldwin profile image

    Katherine Baldwin 

    10 years ago from South Carolina

    Very good hub, Bob. Most people don't think twice about pouring a half full glass of water down their kitchen sink. Pour it into the coffee pot resevoir for the next pot of coffee instead. We should think before we turn that tap on.


  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks CTW, for your comments and I will check that hub out.

  • CherylTheWriter profile image


    10 years ago from Humble, Texas (the ultimate oxymoron)

    Another good Hub, Bob. Our diminishing supply of freshwater is becoming frightening. And with bottled water as expensive, or more so, than gasoline, and with no governmental oversight of that industry (did you see jedgrey's hub on that topic?), well, it's an ugly scenario.

    I like the idea of adding water to the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If potable water is not a basic human right, I don't know what is.

    Thanks, Bob. As always, your insights are appreciated.


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