A couple days ago, fellow blogger and all-around concerned individual Leslie Bradshaw posted something on her blog about the 100th anniversary of the treatment of water here in the US. Yep, we've been using chemicals like chlorine to treat our water for a century. Normally, I say chemicals are not the way to go--however, there are things that live in water that can kill us. I say do what you have to do to get things like cholera and typhoid out of the water we're drinking--and that's just what started to happen one hundred years ago last month.

But this is not to say that the rest is history. Sure, cholera and typhoid are not an issue in the US of the 21st century. However, that's not the case in the developing world. Back in March of 2008 I wrote about a new water treatment device from inventor Dean Kamen. Kamen had been on The Colbert Report demonstrating the device and informing us on some water statistics. He talked about how implementing this device would stop 50% of the world's diseases in their tracks.

This is how important clean water is, yet it's being ignored constantly by damn near everyone.

TheLeslie blogs about the 100th Anniversary of water treatment here in the US, and as far as I can tell, she's practically the only person who's talked about it. She linked to a post on HuffPo about it and an article at independent.co.uk about cholera in Iraq, but when I Googled for "water treatment" all I got were stories about the process of treating water (the Wikipedia article, a page from the EPA on it, etc). I found nothing about the 100th Anniversary and nothing about how most of the developing world desperately needs clean water. Maybe the blogosphere moves too quickly and it's already moved on from this subject?

Should it be this hard to find news and info on one of the most important things on the planet?

Regardless, the importance of clean water has not gone away in the last 100 years.

So, I'll stand firmly on my soap box and ask you one question:

Why are we spending hundreds of billions on a war in Iraq, hundreds of billions more on a war in Afghanistan, hundreds of billions more on a bailout for Wall Street, when hundreds of millions of people are suffering from diseases related to a lack of clean water.

As a race of humans on this little blue ball, you'd think we'd be able to secure clean water for all 6 billion of us.

How can you and I help get clean water to everyone who needs it? To be honest, I don't know. Leslie links to a quiz about water that, for every right answer, promises funds to be donated to delivering clean water to households in west Africa. That's a cool start for sure. There is also Ethos Water--at their website, EthosWater.com, you can learn about how they are helping bring clean water to kids in the developing world. It has something to do with Starbucks--yeah, this has kind of derailed the end of my post.

All I know how to do really well is blog. And blog is what I've been doing. For several years now, I've been following the topic of water--ever since my best friend, Britt, told me about water rights wars he had read about in Africa. I did some research and read about a war for water right here in North America back in 2003. I even stumbled across a copy of a GREAT miniseries called H2O. It's directed by Charles Binamé, co-written and stars by Paul Gross, and is a fictional account of political intrigue, corruption and water rights in Canada that involves the first black President of the United States.

Sadly, I can't find H2O on DVD anywhere. If you can find it, I HIGHLY recommend watching it. It's some of the best writing I've seen. Also, if you find it, please let me know where you got it. I can't find my copy after my recent move to NYC :(

Another funny connection I have to water rights is a show TheWife was in three years in a row back in Los Angeles. In fact, they're in rehearsals right now for this year's production of A Mulholland Christmas Carol (sans TheWife, sadly). Mulholland Christmas Carol written by Bill Robens and Kiff Scholl, is a musical comedy that tells the story of how William Mulholland legally stole water from a far-away county in order to allow Los Angeles to survive, thrive and grow (while that far away county all but dried up and died). You can learn more about this year's production at TheatreOfNote.com. If you live in LA or will be there between Thanksgiving and Christmas CHECK THIS SHOW OUT! It's truly a lot of fun and it does a great job of weaving historical facts, pop culture, great music and humor all together to teach the audience about how LA came to get the water that flows from it's taps.

Water is very likely the most important thing to our lives. Yet it's something we hardly ever think about. So while I have no idea how we can help get clean water to the people who need it most, at least some of us are blogging about it.

Do you know how to help bring clean water to the developing world? Post a comment, I want to help, too.

For more facts about water treatment a hundred years ago and today, check out Leslie's post here: lesliebradshaw.com/?p=158