21 Mar ’14
A little boy walks over to a stream, stoops over with his hands cupped, and starts drinking. The next day he comes down with a serious illness. Unfortunately this is all too common in the world, daily. Fortunately, an American actor is trying to stop this problem. Matt Damon is driven to provide access to clean water everywhere when he tells a reporter this fact, “Every 20 seconds a kid dies because they lack access to clean water and sanitation.” Also, Damon acknowledges that digging water wells is not going to solve this issue due to its complexity.
Currently the world’s water supply is starting to run dry in developing countries. A new fear is emerging where warfare will start focusing in the fight for access to clean water between countries. Water is also not just for drinking, but for irrigation and most importantly power. When water levels start to lower, so does the energy produced, which exponentially affects people as the world population soars.
The World Bank is trying a new program out called the Thirsty Energy initiative to help governments prepare for water issues, and planning around issues when they occur. This will help to prevent unnecessary deaths to a lack of clean water, as well as help to conserve resources.
Regionally in Asia, the republic of Tajikistan has rivers that carry massive amounts of potable water, 14 trillion gallons a year. The access to this flow of water is a concern to all countries downstream. This is causing a source of tension between countries with water, and those without, thus a concern for conflict. This can also be seen with Egypt worried about losing its life source, the Nile River as countries upstream, like Ethiopia are diverting massive amounts of water for their use. Unless world intervention to ease the tensions happen, countries will act on their own terms to protect their people.
The world wide efforts, like those of Matt Damon are helping to subdue the havoc caused by a lack of access to clean water, however the other complexities like governmental regulations/stability, technology, and tensions between countries will also have a large effect in how much access people will have to clean water in every country. Perhaps someday all children in the world will have access to potable water.