Blue Gold

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Where water once flowed (Ibungila, Tanzania)

Today—March 22—is World Water Day.

Having lived on both the African and North American continents, I’ve experienced water scarcity and abundance.

Blue gold—as water is sometimes called—is an increasingly precious resource. We need it for basic sanitation, to cook, to bathe, to clean, to wash, to farm, for industrial purposes … clean water is vital for life and health, yet so many have limited access to it.

Think about it, what would you do if:

  • You needed to cook, but the water was brown?
  • You needed to bathe, but the faucet was dry?
  • You used the toilet, to discover it doesn’t flush?
  • You needed to do laundry, but water was scant?
  • Your farm needed irrigation, but the skies were parched?

When water is scarce, we’re forced to “go green,” not because it’s the cool thing to do, but because it’s necessary for survival.

Benjamin Franklin wrote:

When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water

I was reminded of this important lesson during my recent trip to the African continent. Living in places with a limited water supply forced me to learn the art of water conservation. I’ve mastered the basin bath—using cold water might I add! I’m an expert at using toilets with no flushing mechanism. I’ve even developed a whole new appreciation for the saying, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down.”

In North America, we’re blessed with so many resources. Open the faucet, and water flows freely. I used to brush my teeth with the water running, now I know better. I used to take long hot showers, now I know better. I used to leave the sprinkler system running all day in the summer, now I know better.

Water scarcity underscores our need for better water management. Let’s think about what we can do to stop wasting water and start raising awareness about water cooperation.

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7 thoughts on “Blue Gold

  1. I’ve been thinking about things like this a lot, lately… What we have here; what they don’t there… Thanks for the invaluable reminder of just how fortunate we are, and how much there is to do…

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    • Also what “they” have there and what “we” don’t have here. I’m realizing that you don’t need much to be happy and fulfilled. There is a lot of stuff I have, which I think I need, but am now realizing that they’re just things…it’s just stuff. But there is a lot of work to be done. To him much is given much is required right?

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      • Yes, yes, yes ..less is so much more. I’d forgotten that backintheday , then recalled when I was co-raising sons, then forgot again!(I’m a sale-shopping-shopaholic-clothes/shoes girl..but working on it..slowly..or least I’m conscious of it ) and now I’m back to trying to conserve , recycle, buy less..A work in progress. But your blog reminded me again..thanks! I’ve missed reading you..

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      • Hi dear Berna

        I hear you. I came back from my trip in Africa and felt like my house was swallowing me. Just so much stuff, I was like really? Anyways, I’m grateful for the stuff I do have. We should enjoy life too you know. So enjoy your shoes and looking fab, ain’t no shame in that. It’s just a matter of being mindful and smart about conserving where we can and not wasting unnecessarily. Take care…

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      • Yep, life is pretty dang good Sis; and though we often forget tomorrow isn’t a given…I surround myself with bright, nice things. It keeps me lifted & my spirit joyful! Even simple things like green plants & colorful flowers..Nature I feel is God’s gift to us to decorate our home/gardens with living pieces of art..I love it and I’m trying to use more natural things to color my world; instead of buying so much “stuff” A work in progress indeed…

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      • Bright, pretty plants and flowers make us feel good. That’s why I love spring. And creation always reminds us of God’s goodness. So I like your attitude of nurturing. Too bad I’m not good at keeping plants thriving 😦

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