Today, March 22nd, is International World Water Day. Today it is especially prudent we reflect on the current state and future of the Earth’s water. By calling attention to water contamination issues today, and advocating for responsible management of water resources, we can protect the future of clean water. Each of us must take action and work together to make a difference.
We cannot talk about clean water in the United States without turning our attention to the Flint water crisis. Flint residents continue to rely on bottled water to drink and prepare food. Despite an increase in reports of rashes and other ailments, state health officials declared it is safe to bathe in Flint water. Without fully understanding the level of contamination, it is impossible to protect Flint residents from the potential impacts of exposure. Partnering with the EPA to further investigate the water crisis and share data, Water Defense provides independent water quality testing to adequately inform the public policy dialogue. Check out the news coverage of our work with the EPA here.
The situation in Flint is shocking, but it is not an isolated incident. Environmental justice communities continue to be disproportionately denied access to safe clean water. There has been an on-going pattern of water contamination in cities around the United States coupled with delayed and inadequate response by government officials. These problems are not limited to the United States, effecting at risk communities around the world. We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to water that is safe to use for bathing and drinking. That is why today we must recognize that every day is World Water Day. Our focus on clean water must not be limited to a single day. In order to make a lasting change we need a sustained effort from individuals around the world. We must be vigilant in our efforts to protect our most precious resource and ensure equitable access to clean water.
Raise your voice and call for a federal response in Flint to restore access to safe and affordable municipal drinking water. You can support Water Defense and other organizations working to help the residents of Flint. Most importantly, use today to reaffirm your long-term commitment to clean water for everyone everywhere. We all need clean water and we need to work together to protect it today and every day.
Mark, Ramsay, Scott, Sam, and the entire Water Defense Team