Speaking for our waters on Nov. 8
One of our most precious resources is under attack: our waters. From the pollution we generate, to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s attempt to raise the level of chemicals allowed in water, to a fertilizer plant leaking radioactive waste water into Florida’s aquifer, our supply of clean water is threatened and needs to be preserved.
Water is a fundamental component of life. Water is Life is not only the name of an organization that provides clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene education programs (waterislife.com); it is also a statement of what water represents to us.
Water is a vital substance for all living organisms, animal and plants alike. It is used to regulate internal temperature, transport nutrients, and flush out wastes, and represents up to 90 percent of their structure.
The human body, for example, is about 70 percent water. Our major organs are mostly water: “the brain and heart are composed of 73 percent water, and the lungs are about 83 percent water. The skin contains 64 percent water, muscles and kidneys are 79 percent, and even the bones are watery: 31 percent.” (USGS)
We depend on water for our survival and, even though one may think we have plenty of water on the planet, 97 percent of that water is in the oceans and the water we need — fresh water — only makes up 0.3 percent of the total water on the planet.
From that 0.3 percent, not all can be used, because it is unattainable or because it is polluted.
According to WATERisLIFE, 663 million people lack access to safe water, 3.4 million people die each year from water-related diseases, and one in five children younger than 5 years old die each day from waterborne disease.
Pollution is a big threat to our water supply and to the lives of all creatures that depend on water to survive. We have experienced that first hand in our Indian River Lagoon, where the combination of nutrients from septic systems, fertilizers, reclaimed water irrigation and stormwater runoff, among other things, has affected the health of the lagoon and brought death to our waters, culminating with the massive fish kill we saw back in March 2016.
Our waters are in danger and need our help.
WATERisLIFE created “The Drinkable Book,” a special book that not only educates about water safety and hygiene, but also serves as a filter that kills 99 percent of deadly bacteria. The pages of the book work like a scientific coffee filter that provides 30 days of clean drinking water. A whole book can get up to four years of drinkable water. Donations and volunteers support this project.
Tha Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department presented the Save Our Lagoon Project Plan, a comprehensive plan to reduce and remove water pollutants, and restore and manage the lagoon. The plan outlines the tasks involved and lists costs associated with each task. In order to fund this project, the Brevard County Board of Commissioners opted for a half-cent sales tax. That option will be on the ballot in the Tuesday, Nov. 8 election and it will be up to us to approve it.
As the precious resource fundamental to life that they are, our waters need to be protected, they need a voice. We are left with this important job of speaking on their behalf. Our actions will do the talking, so what are we going to say?
Email Marcia Booth at Marcia@3RsAndBeyond.org.