March 21, 2013
To celebrate World Water Day, IPA’s Dispensers for Safe Water initiative is busting some water-based myths…
Myth 1: The human body is 90% water.
Truth: The average adult human is actually somewhere between 55% and 75% water, which is still a huge amount! (Try multiplying your weight by 0.75 to see how many pounds of water you are carrying around inside your body.) Water plays a critical role in how we function (or fail), so it is essential that we provide our bodies with safe drinking water to keep things running smoothly. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world this is not possible. Even now, in 2013, unsafe drinking water is a leading cause of the diarrheal disease that will result in the deaths of more than 1 million children under the age of five this year.
Myth 2: If the water I collect from the spring in the village looks clear today, then it must be safe to drink.
Truth: Every day, millions of people have to walk to collect water from communal sources such as springs, wells, and boreholes. The water’s appearance varies from crystal clear to the color of milky tea, but it always carries with it the risk of waterborne illnesses such as diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid. Dispensers for Safe Water (DSW) is working to reduce the burden of these diseases. DSW provides access to safe water by installing chlorine dispensers like the one pictured here, and educating communities so that they treat their water with chlorine when they collect it from the source. The chlorine disinfects their water and makes it safe to drink.
Myth 3: I can’t help provide access to safe water for people that live so far away.
Truth: You can! $200 covers the installation costs of a dispenser, and $50 will maintain and refill a dispenser with chlorine for a full year, providing access to safe water via dispensers for 200 people! So, this World Water Day, take the opportunity to make a difference, and donate to Dispensers Safe Water here. You can also take part in a World Water Day event near you.
Happy World Water Day 2013!
- Dispensers for Safe Water
Alexandra Fielden is the Policy Coordinator with IPA's Dispensers for Safe Water initiative.