Do you know how much water you consume?

IMG_0555nathanielBy Nathaniel Crossley

Hi, my name is Nathaniel Crossley and I am 11 years old. I will be doing this column called Aurora Kid for the Fort McMurray Connect every month. In my column I will be interviewing different people and organizations in the community who are doing good things like helping the homeless, writing about when I started doing humanitarian work, why I wanted to do the good things that I do and interviewing kids who are doing awesome stuff in the community.

In this edition of the Aurora Kid, I will be talking about why I wanted to build the wells in Africa, what I did on March 22nd for World Water Day, and about the water consumption in Tanzinia.

My interest in helping to build wells was mainly inspired by Ryan Hreljac, who was 6 years old when he made his first well.  Today, Ryan is over 21 and to has helped build over 750 wells worldwide! I wanted to help build the wells because I wanted to make the world even. I would like everyone in the world to have access to clean drinking water, and I want everyone to be treated equally. I fundraised by accepting online donations, setting up donation booths around the city, and selling African Well Fund t-shirts at the Syncrude Sports and Wellness Center. To date I have helped to build 4 wells in Tanzinia. I don’t really have an end goal; I just want to help as many people as possible.

March 22 marked World Water Day.  United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), first formally proposed the awareness day in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro to encourage the public to not use their taps throughout the whole day.

Each year, one of various UN agencies involved in water issues takes the lead in promoting and coordinating international activities for World Water Day. Since its inception in 2003, UN-Water has been responsible for selecting the theme, messages and lead UN agency for the World Day for Water.

To promote World Water Day locally, on March 22nd I set up information booths at the Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre and at Macdonald Island. The theme this year was United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation recognizing “that cooperation is essential to strike a balance between the different needs and priorities and share this precious resource equitably, using water as an instrument of peace”.

At Macdonald Island, I had a contest to see who could guess how much water is consumed in the Macdonald Island water park every day. The winner got to choose a prize from a wide selection. That was a fun day.

Did you know:

  • 60.1% of people in Tanzinia only have water that is more than 15 minutes away?
  •  21% of people on the island of Zanzibar have water that is more than 15 minutes away, and 61.2% of the people on the mainland of Tanzinia have water more than 15 minutes away?
  • In Tanzinia, there are still some fresh water sources like rivers, lakes and aquifers. Some of the rivers are the Umba, Kagera, Rufiji, and the Great Ruaha River (These are only 3 of the fresh water rivers in Tanzinia, there are 12). There are about 8 fresh water lakes and 91 km of water renewable resources (aka aquifers).
  • Since 1950 the world population has doubled and water use has tripled.
  • Only 20% of the world population enjoys access to running water; over one billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water.
  • The average American individual uses 100 to 176 gallons of water per day; in contrast, the average African family uses 5 gallons of water per day.

Want to learn more?  Visit www.theworldwater.org

I think World Water Day is important to learn about in our community because people don’t realize how much water they consume on a daily basis.

What can kids do to help conserve water?

  • Take showers instead of baths
  • Take short showers (3-5 minutes)
  • Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth
  • Drink water from a container in the refrigerator (Running the faucet until the water gets cold enough to drink is wasteful)
  • Wash your bicycle or your family’s car with a bucket and sponge rather than using a hose (Leaving the hose turned on uses far more water than the amount needed to fill the bucket)

Follow me on Twitter @TheLegoFly

If you know of a kid in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo who is doing great things, please contact me on Twitter.