Amber Love 22-MAR-2012 Today is WORLD WATER DAY – a “holiday” of sorts invented to bring awareness to the blight of places around the world that do not have Earth’s most basic necessity for life: water.

Last June, I decided to write up a note on Facebook and share it with people about the town Wellsville, Ohio. I am puzzled and frustrated by the ignorance that the US is so wealthy and wasteful that Americans want for nothing. Perhaps the Americans showcased on television and worshipped by the media and running for public office are ones that fit into a category like that. Not all.

The Occupy movement didn’t do much, if anything at all, to create corporate change. One thing it did, was allow the 99% to share their stories. Some of the stories are painful middle-class biographies about how even people with college educations are jobless. The people that weren’t interviewed, weren’t on Facebook because they can’t even get the internet at home, and were essentially ignored, are the American lower-middle class and poverty stricken. Cities are just ignored and Erin Brockovich doesn’t save them. In times of the worst crisis, there’s the Red Cross which has had its own controversies regarding spending and distribution. They can provide aid in a crisis but they don’t take on the role of legal counsel to get cities the help they need when corporations have ruined their water supplies.

Not all Americans can pay $5 for a cup of coffee.

Here’s the backstory to why I can’t bring myself to personally support organizations like Charity Water or Life Water. Nothing against what Charity Water and others do, but Americans are quick to send money to organizations that require large administrative budgets (or like Invisible Children, giant PR and film making budgets). The closest geographic Charity Water projects are in Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

08-JUN-2011 (Facebook) Whenever I say something about helping people here in my own country (America, if you are one of my foreign followers), people seem to think I’m being heartless or uncaring to other countries’ populations that are in great need. I understand there is devastation in Japan and that Africa is critically riddled with disease. I’m not turning a blind eye to them. But I do feel like Americans in particular tend to forget or simply not be aware of some of the simple problems we have here.

WATER. CLEAN WATER.

I applaud the efforts of Charity Water and Water Aid. However they don’t provide clean water to the US according to the coverage maps on their websites. You would think it’s crazy. Why would Americans need clean water? We have cases of it at every supermarket. Yes we do. In some places the only opportunity to get clean water is to PAY for it or travel to get some. If you are already paying a water bill from your municipality even if it’s part of your water/sewer treatment within your tax dollars, you pay for water. But to pay for DIRTY water is unacceptable.

Water for drinking and cooking is so commonplace for most people. Are you surprised to know that not every American has this?

It’s taken me months to get up the nerve to post these thoughts which have been brewing. I stayed with a friend in Ohio – the glorious midwest of the US – and the town does NOT have clean water. Bathing is done in dirty brown water coming from the faucets. Water used for any type of consumption has to come from a spring miles away where my friend brings jugs to refill week after week in every season. And his family and neighbors have lived like this for DECADES.

Apparently at some point in the 1980s, Wellsville, OH was victim to strip mining which destroyed the area’s water resources. These are not affluent people. These are not people of power and influence. They tried to present cases for the mining company to fix what it broke and for this long they have put up with the nonsense. Families have to travel to a spring to get CLEAN WATER.

Even where I live in NJ, our water comes from a well in the backyard. It’s not “great” and we filter our drinking water through a filter-pitcher, but at least it’s “usually” clean enough for every day use like laundry, showering and cooking. After a bad storm that can fluctuate, but all in all, we have it easy compared to the people of Wellsville, OH.

If anyone knows of any water charities that do help the US, please let me know because I would love to promote it.