By Adwapa Donkoh
Adwapa is one of AIDemocracy’s 2010-2011 Issue Analysts. Find our more about Adwapa below, and about our Student Issue Analysts.

I know what you’re thinking? Water existed before any of us came into being, so technically, nobody should dictate who can or cannot have access to water. On the other hand, like all resources, water needs to be managed effectively in order to ensure equal access and use. While some think this should be the government responsibility, others believe private corporations will manage it more effectively.

Today’s water crisis isn’t an issue of scarcity, but of access. YES ACCESS! According to “more people in the world own cell phones than have access to a toilet!” Everyday, limited access to clean water and sanitation kills thousands leaving others with reduced quality of life.

So now that we know the facts, my question to you is “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HELP?” Little drops of water make a mighty ocean (no pun intended). Even if our government(s) aren’t putting the right policies in place, there are some simple things we can do. It sounds like such a simple thing. But without clean water, economies crumble, livestock dies, and it’s impossible to grow basic staples. The lack of safe water is the mother of famine, disease, poverty and warfare.

Today, I challenge you to step back and realize how you take water for granted. It’s as easy to forget water’s value when you have it, as it is to never forget your thirst when you don’t. Consider some of these options:
Install water-saving showerheads. Plant drought-resistant gardens. Find leaks in your home and repair them. Take shorter showers. Replace old washing machines and dishwashers with water saving appliances. Most importantly, support organizations that bring fresh water to people who don’t have any such as Water for People, the Blue Planet Run Foundation and H2OAfrica.

With everyone’s efforts, we can help turn this absurdity around.

Adwapa Donkoh received a Bachelors degree from Spelman College. She is currently a student at American University, where she is getting her master’s in Public Policy. Her interest includes economic development in areas such as food, water and health. She is originally from Ghana West Africa.