Below the Surface
June 21, 2007
In the last few weeks, we have seen a torrent of articles and news reports on the subject. US News & World Report, for example, ran a cover story under the title "Why You Should Worry about Water: How this Diminishing Resource Will Determine the Future of Where and How We Live." These and the many other recent writings all serve to emphasize how many of us take for granted a diminishing—and strategic—resource. In the heat of summer, when many Americans spend their days in or around swimming pools sipping various cold drinks, it is easy to ignore that a big chunk of the rest of the world doesn’t have access to clean drinking water. Over a billion people. Beyond that, some 2.6 billion people do not have what we would consider to be adequate sanitation. Think about it this way: Each time you flush a toilet, you are watching a full day’s worth of water per person in the developing world go down the drain.