November 14, 2012 by Meg G.
On Monday afternoon, one of Worcester’s cast-iron water mains busted open just a few blocks from our home, flooding Worcester State University, shutting off water to the city for a few hours, and putting us all on a boil water order.
Luckily, my homemade apple sauce and vegetable stock were safely on the stove before the whole shebang went down. (Throwing out food makes me want to cry!) We actually didn’t lose water pressure or experience discoloration, but we’re still boiling water over here until further notice.
This offers yet another opportunity to pause and consider what those of us living in the United States (and other industrialized countries) take for granted each and every day.
The infographic above is subtitled “The Embarrassing Lack of Clean Water Access in the World.” Embarrassing is an understatement. We are in the middle of a water crisis so severe that some folks believe that the next major war will be over access to the world’s shrinking water supply. Water is a human right, but it also plays a huge role in politics, security, economics, health, and safety. A few years ago, journalist and author Steven Solomon spoke with NPR about his then-new book, Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization. The interview is worth a listen.
In the midst of the boil water order, we’ve observed a number of folks rushing off to buy bottled water. I’m not sure if this is out of habit, fear, or convenience, but I’m pretty sure it’s unnecessary. If you’ve got a few large pots, a stove, and a little bit of time – you should be all set!
I’ve always been a tap water drinker – it’s cheaper, more highly regulated, and better for the environment than the bottled stuff (much of which is actually tap water that’s been “treated”). If you’re interested in this topic, I highly recommend this video from Story of Stuff Project.
What say you, water drinkers? Care to weigh-in on the tap vs. bottle conversation?