clean water

Each of us has one hundred times as many water molecules in our bodies than the sum of all other molecules combined. Today is World Water Day, a good day to reflect on how this symbol that blesses, sanctifies, and purifies in our rituals, but too often, does not do the same in daily life.

Todd Wynward 10-17-2016

Dakota Access Pipeline protest at the Utah State Capitol on Sept. 28 in Salt Lake City. Brent Olson /

Today we are at another powerful turning point for first Americans, and for all of us. The courageous actions of the Standing Rock Sioux inspires place-based people everywhere. Through the example of prayerful indigenous people at Standing Rock, many Christians are coming to a powerful realization: Protecting our watersheds for future generations is God's call to action for people of all faiths today, just as urgent as it was for previous generations of interfaith activists to abolish slavery or march for civil rights. To protect water is the sacred task of today's generation.

Image via /Shutterstock

Try to imagine your morning routine without water. Brushing your teeth, taking a shower, using the bathroom, making tea or coffee. Practically every step requires a lot of water — clean and easily accessible.

For millions of women around the world, the morning routine is very different.

In developing countries around the world, women spend up to five hours every day collecting water from distant and often polluted sources, returning to their villages carrying 40-pound jerry cans on their backs. reports that women and children in 45 developing countries bear the primary responsibility for water collection. Bodies break down under the weight and often the water makes families sick. Some 50 diseases are related to poor water quality and lack of sanitation. And it’s the children under five who suffer the most.

Dignity and safety are hard to come by in a world without water and sanitation. Women and girls must sneak off into a secluded field in the dark of night for privacy, where some will be molested or raped. When a girl reaches puberty, she is either humiliated at school or misses several days each month — many drop out altogether just to manage menstruation. It’s an unfair reality that keeps millions of young women in poverty, with no way out.

RNS photo courtesy T.J. Foltz

Humankind Water, RNS photo courtesy T.J. Foltz

T.J. Foltz has a recipe to help the world's poor: Take one part entrepreneurship, one part social media savvy and one part faith-based motivation. Fold in the world's largest retailer.

Then add water.

If every American spent $10 per year on his Humankind Water — less than they spend on Halloween candy — it would be enough to nearly eradicate the world's water sanitation problems, Foltz says.

Foltz, a former Christian youth minister, put out his first bottle of Humankind Water last October. The idea is to sell bottled water in a socially conscious way, with 100 percent of net profits going to fund clean-water projects in Haiti, Asia and Africa.

the Web Editors 3-22-2012
World on water, violetkaipa,

World on water, violetkaipa,

Today is World Water Day – an opportunity to celebrate the amazing H20 that we have the privilege to enjoy every day. It is also a day to remember and campaign on behalf of the 780 million people who lack access to clean water across the globe, and the 2.5 billion without access to a basic toilet.

Here are some of the best World Water Day links from around the world:

World Vision offers an inspiring story of how life-changing access to clean water can be for people in the developing world.

UK-based Christian international development organization Tearfund have worked on issues of water and sanitation for many years and offer their thoughts on why today is an important day for all of us.

Eric Stoner 3-04-2011

In December, as the United States entered the 10th year of what President Obama called the "good war" in Afghanistan, I traveled to Kabul to take stock of the human toll of the increasingly bloody occupation.

Allen Johnson 2-14-2011

In the old days, in the coal towns of West Virginia, winter was a time when folks hunkered around the pot-bellied stove and whiled away time spinning stories. At times, someone would fiddle with the draft, poke the coal embers, and release an extra dollop of acrid coal smell. Houses were drafty. Your front side facing the stove could be burning up, your backside shivering cold.

Jennifer Kottler 8-12-2010
"Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." William Jennings Bryan (1860 - 1925)

Bill McKibben 6-24-2010
I'd say Barack Obama's long and often tenuous honeymoon with progressive Americans took what looks like a lethal blow in spring 2010.
My father is 82 years old, and for most of his life he was an avid gardener and fisherman. He lost interest in the garden after my mother died. This year I told Dad that I wanted a garden.
Sheldon Good 6-04-2010
The BP Oil Spill is the worst oil spill in U.S. history, much worse than Exxon Valdez.
Chuck Collins 4-13-2010
This time of year it is useful to recount the parable of the angry taxpayer (from the VERY New Testament).
Julie Clawson 3-26-2010
I grew up in the water world. My dad worked for the water department in Dallas and served as director of Austin water and wastewater.
Eugene Cho 10-21-2009

We are excited to announce the launch of One Day's Wages -- an international grassroots movement dedicated to ending extreme global poverty. We are certainly not the first and thankfully, not the last.

Hayley Hathaway 9-22-2009
As pundits and politicians wield fighting words over the domestic health-care crisis, another group is getting ready to combat a different crisis -- one which, unless it's resolved quickly, will ca
Elizabeth Palmberg 8-14-2009
I'm not a complete locavore purist, at least not yet. I do eat things shipped from the other side of the world, such as ginger, or (fair trade) chocolate. But water?