This year, World Environmental Day falls on June 5. It’s a great opportunity to help your child understand the importance of clean water and the effects of water pollution. Why? Because in India, dirty water is the top cause of diarrheal diseases – like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid – that annually lead to 200,000 deaths of children under the age of five.
The list of possible health risks from dirty water goes on and on – bacteria and parasites in water can lead to skin and eye infections, intestinal worms, and diseases like hepatitis. Toxins like lead, arsenic, and fluoride cause birth defects and even cancer. Drinking purified water halves children’s risk of disease and death, but an estimated 93 million people in our country do not have access to safe water.
What’s more, India is developing so fast that water pollution and increased demand are threatening our groundwater supplies. Safeguard your child’s future by teaching them about the importance of clean water and ways to conserve it.
Water is Life: Fun Facts about the Importance of Clean Water
You know that clean water is vital to your child’s healthy development, but do your little ones know how essential it is to their health? Share with your child some of these fun facts about how bodies and water work together:
- Your brain is 80 percent water.
- Your blood is 83 percent water.
- Your bones are 25 percent water.
- Water flushes out toxins and illness from your body.
- You can survive without food for more than a month, but less than a week without water.
- If you feel thirsty, it means your body has lost roughly 1 percent of its total water.
- You should drink approximately 8 cups a day
Drinking Water Quality: Clean Water Activities for Kids
You use water in so many daily activities – including cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry! Ask your kids to think about how many different ways they use water everyday, and then to think about how important it is to make sure we have clean water to do all these things. Talk about how many people are working together to make sure that the planet has enough clean and safe water. Many companies and organisations are trying to save water, and we at Unilever are doing our part to save the environment and reduce water consumption.
Here at Unilever, we have a Sustainable Living Plan and we are committed to saving water and reducing pollution and waste. When you use a Unilever detergent – like Surf excel Liquid – you don't need to use as much water to get your clothes clean. Unilever factories are also using less water to produce these detergents. What other ways to save water can you think of? Think big! You can teach your kids about how water purifiers work to clean any type of water. These purifiers come in the form of either chemicals or filters.
It’s fun explaining how these work to kids. You can set up a few filtering experiments with jars of muddy water and show the difference in the quality of the water when it has been drained through sand, coffee filters, or cheesecloth. Dissolving sugar and salt into glasses of water will also help to teach your child about water pollution – clear water isn’t always pure, and it’s important to ‘Think before you drink!’
Jumping around in muddy puddles, though, can be left to International Mud Day on 29 June!
Learning about Water Pollution and Ways to Conserve Water
When it flows from a tap or pump, it’s easy to take water for granted. But there’s a limited supply. It’s predicted that India will need to double the amount of water available by 2030. Basic water conservation efforts – like not leaving the tap running while you brush your teeth, or using an energy-efficient washing machine – all add up.
You can find out how to save water with your washing machine with Surf excel. How else can you save water at home? Here’s a little reminder of how valuable water is to us:
- Only 1 percent of the Earth’s water is fit for us to drink
- We will never have any more water, globally, than we have right now.
- Approximately 4 percent of India’s water is from fresh water supplies.
- Approximately 50 percent of all rural water sources are polluted with disease-causing bacteria.