Worse Than the Covid-19 Pandemic? Ignoring Our Global Water Emergency

Our world is facing a number of critical disasters. With the amount of crises facing us, not only nationally but globally, it can at times prove difficult to determine which issue should warrant our attention, which problem is the most dire, and what should be done to reverse course and put the world back on track.

Climate change, water pollution and shortage, COVID-19, world hunger, political instability; all these crises face us and make the future at times feel uncertain and alarming.

Today, COVID-19 has taken the lion’s share of the national news spotlight as it has proven a dangerous and immediate threat to our wellbeing and a sizable disruption of our daily lives. In responding to the crisis, our society has already begun to reshape itself towards some new realities that have been brought to light by COVID-19. New procedures have put in place, national and global resources have been re-distributed and our behaviors as a society have considerably shifted over the relatively short span of months.

However, eventually this pandemic will pass us and life will return to a landscape that, albeit changed, will certainly bear a closer resemblance to “normal” than our current existence. If our politics stay aligned to what matters most, a vaccine will at some point in the near future be engineered and distributed to slow and eventually halt the senseless loss of life that has plagued us throughout 2020.

This can not be said of many of the other issues facing us, especially the water crises. There is no vaccine to end the polluting of our water sources and our bodies. There is no relatively short fix to the decades of abuse we have inflicted upon our greatest source of life. The science is clear; when it comes to the water crises- our global community is facing down the barrel of a dark reality and a difficult future unless considerable and collective action is taken.

The Future of the Water Crisis

In a recent op-ed penned by historic American activist and water-justice advocate Erin Brokovich entitled The US is in a Water Crisis Far Worse Than People Imagine, the environmental crusader lays out a series of points that paints a bleak outlook for the future of our country.

“We are in a water crisis beyond anything you can imagine. Pollution and toxins are everywhere, stemming from the hazardous wastes of industry and agriculture. We have more than 40,000 chemicals on the market today with only a few hundred regulated. We’ve had industrial byproducts discarded into the ground and into our water supply for years. The crisis affects everyone- rich or poor, black or white, Republican or Democrat. Communities everywhere think they are safe when they are not” Brokovich argues.

Further, Brokovich details that our regulatory agencies have fallen short in their duties to remedy and reverse this negative forecast.

“These issues start with tiny seeds of deception that add up over months and years to become major problems. Our resources are exhausted. Corruption is rampant. Officials are trying to cover their tracks. People are not putting the pieces together when it comes to the severity of the crisis.”

The Data

"Microplastic contamination to the marine environment is widespread, but the extent to which the marine food web is not yet known."

Sea Turtle Plastic Ocean

Unfortunately, the data available only supports and deepens Brokovich’s case. In a recent study from the University of Queensland’s Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health, scientists studied 10 varied samples of 5 different species of marine life. The results were startling.

Much to their alarm, the researchers found that every one of their samples contained samples of plastic within them.

“Microplastic contamination to the marine environment is widespread, but the extent to which the marine food web is not yet known” the authors of the study cited as the reason behind their study. Their findings show indisputably that the web has indeed been contaminated and the takeaways for our own consumption and health are therefore certainly placed in jeopardy.

When asked what steps could and should be taken to reverse course, Francisca Ribiero, the lead researcher of the study, stated that “we should take a precautionary approach and make sure we stop the use of single use plastic, reduce the use of plastic in our everyday life and manage our plastic waste in a correct way.”

The data is clear; plastic pollution has contaminated our water sources, the life within those sources and therefore our own health as inhabitants of this planet.

What Can Be Done?

Though the facts stated certainly paint a picture that feels at times insurmountable and futile; nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is, the fate of our health, our oceans, and our planet rests in our hands alone.

“Superman is not coming. If you are waiting for someone to come save you and clean up your water, I’m here to tell you: no one is coming to save you.” says Brokovich. “But before you despair, I want to remind you that we are in this together…consider this your personal permission slip.”

"Superman is not coming. If you are waiting for someone to come save you and clean up your water, I’m here to tell you: no one is coming to save you."

Erin Brokovich
Gopure Water Bottle Creek

GOpure has been dedicating ourselves to tackling the water crisis as a product and business, and understand that often this issue can seem far too large at times to even wrap our heads around. Yet it is only in the power of individual action that the collective begins to take any shape or power and every single person has the power to make a difference. We’re here to help you join our “Clean Water and Clean Planet” mission and this begins simply as switching to a personal water bottle and GOpure Pod, instead of reaching for another plastic water bottle.

Despite the wide range of coverage and journalism dedicated to this topic, we still see a mass consumption of single use plastics and apathy to understanding how unfiltered tap water can impact the long-term health of our families and pets. Many have relented their own personal responsibility and rely instead on their government agencies as the “solution” to the world’s issues. The same governing bodies who have allowed this crisis to grow far worse. Erin is right, Superman is never coming, at the end of the day it’s up to each of us.

The immediacy of COVID-19 has shocked the world into taking action. Many of us have taken our health, the lives of ourselves and loved ones into our own hands. We wear masks. We socially distance. We do the things outlined by the scientists and specialists who are guiding us towards a safer and brighter tomorrow.

What if we all demonstrated the same vigilance in protecting our planet?

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