The missing reality in water sustainability discussions

In reading John Sauer’s article Setting our Sights High at World Water Week  in the Huffington Post Blog, we reflected on the global (including ours) assumption that water, sanitation, and hygiene  are inextricably lumped together.

Sustainability of water implies that there is water to manage. However, what if there is no water to manage? How can we live without water?  There are thousands of communities all over the world that, before even thinking of water sustainability, are thinking of where they can get their next glass of water to drink.

In our project in Swaziland, we are constantly facing the fact that sanitation, hygiene (at the very least, hand-washing) , food security (partly through school-gardens), are not happening because water is simply not available – because there has been no rain for the past few months. While we totally support the need to address the issue of the water resource and its collaboration at the global level, we are deeply concerned with the situation that happens today, now, on the ground, as we speak – namely, there is no water for millions of people. 

The issue and what investors need to ask is: How can we help communities achieve food-security, sanitation, and hygiene in a water-scarce environment.

 

-PFL

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