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THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

I've been reading the news stories about Cape Town and how if water levels do not stop decreasing in the next three months, this city is going to have to shut off the water supply to homes and businesses until the rains come. Cape Town is not some small village. We are talking about a city that is on par with major cities all around the world. It was named the World Design City in 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. It was also considered to be one of the world's top 'green' cities. They have gone above and beyond in conservation efforts from new pipes and water meters to tariffs on exceeding water limits. Today the daily water limit per person drops to 50 liters from 87 liters. For everyone. People just like you and me. It is estimated that the water will be shut off in April. The water crisis that is happening in Cape Town and other parts of the world are a direct result of climate change. Cape Town is waiting for rains that are not coming.

I once heard one of my college professors say that the biggest battle we will have will not be over oil or who owns the oil supplies. It will be over water. It is far easier for me to see a world struggling for water resources than one searching for fuel, mostly because we've come up with alternative options for energy. There's not really an alternate source for water. We can build desalination plants that pull salt from ocean water, but those plants are expensive. They use a lot of energy and pollute the air and water ways. They disrupt marine life and fishing industries. It is not a sustainable solution. We can conserve, but while we are conserving we must come up with other water sources. It is all too often taken for granted that when I turn the handle on any of the faucets in my home or where I work, that water is going to flow freely from the tap. I don't even think about. I read a quote from a woman who said "you cannot mix up baby formula without water." That sentence floored me. 

I try to be mindful and conserve water. I don't let the water run while I'm brushing my teeth and I dump my water glass into one of the house plants. I recognize though, that I could do more. I have space for rain barrels. The water they collect could be used for watering the garden or even the chickens. I leave the water running while hand washing the dishes. That's more of an OCD cleanliness thing that I need to get over. I can and do support legislation that promotes research and infrastructure for dealing with our changing climate. I support scientists who are out there gathering data and information so that we can come up with solutions for a cleaner, healthier planet. It sounds really easy for me to be grateful for water. Such a simple thing. But today, I am thankful that I have access to a clean source of water. And because I am so grateful for this, I am going to continue to do what I can for this planet we live on. 

I am thankful for many things this week, like healthy bodies and ginger tea (water). I am thankful for the moments I have laughed in ernest. I am thankful for sunshine even when it is bitter cold outside. I am thankful for you. 

(I looked into ways to help Cape Town and could not find anything reliable. You can always make donations to Charity Water or The American Red Cross Disaster Relief.)