Americans Are Thirsty for Clean Water

Across America, people are standing up for clean water.

On Saturday, thousands gathered in nearly 60 cities as part of the Green The Block “National Day of Action,” which focused on the nation’s water crisis. From California to New York, people came together to demand clean water for their children and communities.

Right now, Americans are facing enormous challenges. 250,000 water mains break annually because of crumbling infrastructure, which can lead to rust, dirt and other materials getting into our water. Plus, these breaks waste 1.7 trillion gallons of water a year.

Additionally, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, by the year 2050, more than 1,100 counties in America will face a higher risk of water shortages due to global warming. And, every year, 20 million Americans get sick because of contaminated water due to untreated waste.

The challenges could get worse. Recently, the U.S. House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee passed a bill that would cut the EPA’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget by $1.5 billion, or 18%. The largest cut — nearly $1 billion — would come out of clean water efforts.

In the face of these problems, Green The Block — a campaign created by Green For All and the Hip-Hop Caucus to get low-income communities and communities of color involved in green initiatives — has focused its latest efforts on helping communities come together to make a difference in their own neighborhoods. That’s what this Saturday was all about.

In Denver, organizers created an educational initiative to inform and organize so that entire communities can get involved in the effort to clean their water. In Los Angeles, La Causa hosted a community event to show others the benefits of a new drip system and rain water catchment at a local elementary school. And, in Albuquerque, speakers used art, dance and workshops to raise awareness and engage others.

It was inspiring to watch people come together to take action. Thankfully, many of these events were captured in photos and videos, which will be live soon on the Green the Block website. Check them out. Also, take a look at the event map on the site to see what new events have been added for this weekend due to popular demand.

Come out. Get involved. Families shouldn’t be put in danger because they’re thirsty. Our nation’s antiquated water network needs repair; our waterways need to be free of pollution.

We cannot accept waste in our water. We can’t let our good water go to waste.