As a kid growing up in Oklahoma, my primary diet was dust. So, it was remarkably refreshing after an evening softball game, or an afternoon spent mowing the lawn, to pour a glass of cold water. In nearly any room of the house, my sisters and I could turn a shiny silver knob and and lavishly splash cool, clean water over our faces, arms and neck. Then, reaching for a brightly colored cup, without a second thought, we gulped the life-giving liquid.
Nearly every summer, on the evening news, I remember hearing about a seasonal water shortage . Neighbors began to take turns watering their lawns. Daddy didnít wash the cars. But never for one second did I fear that we would run out of clean drinking water.
This year has been record setting in Oklahoma. In August, the temperature soared to 113 degrees. More than 30% of the state is experiencing an exceptional drought. But, in my familyís garage there are still cases of clean water. Every evening we take long showers. Here in rural Oklahoma, I have never known anyone dying for water.
In 2008, a non-profit foundation called Water4 , was founded in Oklahoma City by Dick and Terri Greenly, to address the global water crisis. A water crisis that most of us in North America have never even considered. We certainly donít worry about dying children every time we enjoy a cool glass of ice water.
Water4 exists primarily provide water to impoverished, thirsty areas. At the same time, Water4 educates and trains nationals to be intricately involved in the effort to provide sustainable, clean water sources to their villages. Already working tirelessly in Haiti, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Rwanda, Water4ís goal is to provide clean drinking water to a million people by 2014.
Statistically, the majority of Oklahomans are pro-life. Consequently, voters are well aware that about 3,322 children are aborted everyday. However, few people know that 4,320 children die everyday due to a water-related illness.
Many states across America are withering with drought this summer. Farmers are fearful for their crops and consequently, their livelihood. The entire globe is feeling the economic pinch. But when we feel the parched tongues of children in third-world countries, when we see the countless tiny graves of thirsty children - we have to be grateful for our relative abundance and wonder...
What can we do?
While the cost to build a private well in Oklahoma is upwards of $2000, you can donate a well and supply water to an entire village through Water4ís program for $900. Youíll never turn that shiny silver knob mindlessly again, and neither will your children.
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