9 mei 2018: Diversity Dinner in De Kuip Rotterdam
Bill Gates, Oprah, Dr. Dre and many other high profile celebrities engaged in the "challenge", millions of people followed and it was a matter of time before I got nominated too. Whilst I appreciate the sudden awareness and concern for people suffering from ALS I find it ironical that we may contribute to other diseases at the same time, diseases related to water scarcity. As many people follow celebrities to do the #IceBucketChallenge hype they are wasting precious water, that's why I would rather save water than waste it, and I challenge everyone to do the same.
Approximately 2 in every 100,000 people suffer from ALS, in the US the estimate is about 30 000 and in the Netherlands about 1000 people. it is a very serious disease so the increasing awareness is great. However, 1 in 8 people in the world, that is about 780 million people (!) lack access to clean drinking water. Water is the source of life, without water one can not live. Lack of access to water can cause diseases like cholera and dhiarria kills 4100 children per day. Because of a lack of access to water many women and children have to walk for miles to find water and can not go to school or work. Lack of water can pose a risk for business and the economy and for LIFE ON EARTH.Trouble with polluted water from Michiel & Joost on Vimeo.
All of life is dependent on the flow of water including our social, economic and environmental life. Despite the abundance of water on our planet we are heading towards a situation of severe water scarcity.The global population is expected to reach the mark of 8 billion in the next 20 years and 9 billion by 2050 mainly driven by population growth in the "developing world" and leading to a growing demand for water. Demand for water is enlarged even more by increased wealth in developed and emerging countries. As people become more prosperous they change their diets to more water-demanding foods and products which increase the demand for water. Furthermore, the growing population and economic growth will spur the demand for energy leasding to a bigger demand for water. Research has pointed that these developments will lead to the situation where demand for water will exceed global water supply by 40 percent in 2030.
With just one dollar or euro people can find affordable water-treatment solutions. I did my Msc. Business Administration graduate research on sustainable water management and learned about this looming crisis. Big businesses like CocaCola, Heineken, and pepsiCo understand this problem and formulated goals to decrease their use of water. Many people don't know that their daily consumption pattern has an impact on water use as well, it takes 2400 L. to produce a hamburger and 140 L. of water to produce a cup of coffee. In addition, climate change caused by our consumption and burning of fossil fuels, cutting rainforests etc. dont really help either. The water crisis is not just a risk in "developing or poor" countries, even wealthy countries and regions like southern California and the area of Las Vegas are increasingly at risk of water scarcrity and drought. My friends and former intern supervisors at KPMG cycled from Alaska to Antartica in a project called Cycle for Water to raise awareness about this problem. If only they knew they just had to throw a bucket of water over their head it would have saved them a lot of trouble.
Dont follow the hype. Before you plan to throw a bucket of water over your head and donate your money tot the ALS Fund. I challenge everyone reading this to inform themselves about the looming water crisis and do something to increase access to clean water and sanitation. And if you can't resist the temptation of throwing a bucket of ice water over your head at least donate half of the amount to a fund focused on increasing access to water as well such as Cycle for Water or Matt Damon's Water.org.
For more information about the looming water crisis check out these website. Want to read my thesis about sustainable water management, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org: