www.whyville.net Aug 24, 2008 Weekly Issue

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Sometimes I lay in my bed and ponder. While I'm laying there, the same thoughts always go through my head. I always think about how lucky I am. I know I take some things for granted, but I'm always thankful for this. Running water.

Why running water? Because! There are so many reasons. I can take a shower everyday and get a glass of water whenever I feel like it. I can wash my hands when they are dirty. I have clean running water available for me when I need it. But, it's not like that for everyone.

Although the world is made up of 70% water, barely any of it is potable (drinkable). 40% of the world lacks clean drinking water, and the majority of that 40% lives in Africa. Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe are just a few of the many countries that have little or no drinking water. Think about what it would be like, if you were thirsty and couldn't get a drink? Or, if you were dirty and hadn't bathed in a couple months? It's mind-boggling, right?

Everyday in Africa, people wake up without access to clean water. They sit and ponder about what it might be like to have running water. But, not to fear. There are ways to help out. Like, WaterAid! WaterAid is an international charity. They touch areas in Africa, Asia, and several other countries in the Pacific region as well. Their mission is simple; give people access to clean water, sanitation and give them hygiene education.

Can you believe that little boy is drinking THAT water?

Whoever you are, you can always help. If you would like to learn more about WaterAid or get involved go to www.wateraid.org. Go to the site, click around, and help out. So easy. On the other hand, you can also help out the water crisis at home! How? By conserving water! Get your paper and pencil, Whyville. Here are a few tips:

- DON'T buy bottled water. Chill facet water in your own water bottle and carry it around with you. If you have bottled water right now, remember to recycle the plastic bottle!

- DON'T flush if you don't have to.

- WASH with the hose. If you are giving your dog a bath or washing your hands do it on the lawn, you will be watering the grass!

- DON'T put toxins down the drain. For every 1 gallon of toxin you put down the drain, you contaminate one millions gallons of water! Dispose of it properly.

- TAKE a quick shower. 10 minutes is the longest you should be in there! You will be energized and save time/water.

- HALF bath. If you are taking a bath, fill up the tub only half full! You will be just as clean. I promise.

- FILL up half full. If you are getting a drink of water, fill it up half way. You can get more if you need more. But if you get too much, you are wasting it!

- TURN off the facet. If you are washing your face, hands, or brushing your teeth, turn off the facet. You don't need it on the whole time!

- DOUBLE check. Make sure all the water is turned off when you leave the room. Remember to save some water for the fishes!

There you go! A few ways to conserve some H2O, our most precious mineral. Instead of wasting blue, you will become a little greener. Tell your friends, parents, and your dog Ollie!

I'm helping out. Are you?

Author's Note: Sources: www.wateraid.org and www.ecologue.com


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