OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma – Americans spent $11.8 billion on bottled water in 2012 alone. That is equivalent to consuming 9.67 billion gallons of bottled water, all while having unlimited access to tap water. In comparison, 884 million people do not have any access to clean water, and over 3 million people will die every year from this. If U.S. citizens want to spend billions of dollars buying water, they should consider using those funds to give water to developing countries that do not have the same access to clean water as the U.S.
Wishing Well: Water for the World, is a non-profit organization based out of Oklahoma, and their purpose is to share how for $1 can give someone in a developing country clean water for a year. If American citizens had donated the money they spent on bottled water to this fund instead, 11.8 billion people would now have clean water for a year.
The Wishing Well works with well drilling organizations to install wells in developing countries that are in need of water. As of now they have completed 65 well projects in 9 countries, with their primary focus being in Africa. Wishing Well encourages people to get involved by attending their fundraising events or hosting an individual one, volunteering at their headquarters in Oklahoma City or by directly donating to their cause. More information regarding events and donations can be found at wishforwater.com
The Water Project, Inc. is another non-profit determined to provide sustainable water to those in need, and their efforts are directly primarily to sub-Saharan Africa. Water Project, Inc. makes a difference by training missionaries that are already located in Africa on how to provide access to clean water and make sure it stays sanitary, and by funding the installment of wells, rain catchments, spring protection and sand dams. So far the Water Project, Inc. has helped over 275,000 people access clean water in over 700 communities. To learn more on how to get involved, visit thewaterproject.org
A lack of clean water in developing areas results in 80 percent of illnesses in those countries, girls dropping out of school when they start puberty due to a lack of sanitation systems, and is the cause for 1 out of every 5 deaths in children under the age of 5.
Providing clean water to developing countries not only improves their living conditions and saves millions of lives but it also would benefit the U.S. On average, every $1 that the U.S. invests in water provides an economic return of $8.
The United Nations estimates that if 1/6 of the money spent on bottled water worldwide was instead used to help provide clean water to those in need, the number of people without clean water would be cut in half.
– Olivia Hadreas