Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Do you want the water?


A pause from hospital business to the "simple" matter of public health. A friend sent me this link telling the story of the arrival of fresh water to Boston in the mid-1800's. It was one of my favorite stories when I was in charge of the metropolitan area water and sewer system. It is so easy now to forget how the public provision of this essential commodity changed so much in the life of Bostonians, and how the community celebrated when the water arrived. There was a dramatic moment when Mayor Josiah Quincy yelled out, "Do you want the water?" and the people responded, "Yes!" and a fountain erupted in the Boston Common.

View, in contrast, these pictures of women in an Indian village on the Konkan Coast picking up their daily supply of water from the village tap. Surely, a priority for local governments and for US aid to other countries should be the provision of this kind of basic infrastructure, but it is often neglected.

4 comments:

Michael said...

Very timely post as there is a fundraiser tomorrow night in Cambridge for Charity:Water tied into Twitter -- http://boston.twestival.com

More info, including some very compelling videos, here: http://www.charitywater.org/

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the movie Slumdog Millionaire? What did you think?

Leah O. said...

I wonder if desalinations plants would help areas such as this one which are located on coastlines.

Leah O.

76 Degrees in San Diego said...

From participating in medical projects in rural Latin America, the issue of not having clean water is obviously great. This past summer, we installed several chlorination systems in rural villages. The results have been mixed; there needs to be someone committed to running the system daily. Also, some villagers didn't like chlorinated water because it was not "living"!

The following is a particularly ingenious system:
http://waterfortheworld.com