The gift of water

The gift of water

Features - Irrigation

Santa might not be real, but you can easily help bring clean water to the needy of the world.

December 17, 2012
Martha Golea
Industry News

If you’re reading this, you’re probably old enough to hear what I’m about to say.

Santa is not real.

All right, so you’ve probably heard that one before, but here are some similar hoaxes we all seem to buy into long into adulthood:

1. Water is everywhere and it comes from nature so it should be free.

2. Water will always flow magically from my faucet and hose.

When you were small, your parents shopped for months to find the perfect gifts, wrapped for days, and snuck around hours after you fell asleep to stash all the presents under the tree, only to give all the credit to Santa. But every time you turn the tap, it’s Christmas. So much work goes on behind the scenes to bring you the water that magically appears whenever you demand it.

What You’re Paying For. “Water should be free” is one of the most baffling statements I hear on a regular basis. Sure, about 71 percent of the Earth is covered in water but do you carry a bucket to a nearby river or ocean to get all the water you need to drink, bathe, irrigate and keep your household or business running? If you do, then you’re absolutely right: It should be free. If you’re traveling miles to fetch it, powering the pumps to suck it out, hauling it back home, cleaning it to drinking standards, and delivering it to your own faucets and hoses, then re-collecting it, treating it again, carrying it back to its source, and repeating the process daily, that water better not cost you a cent.

Why not? Because the process of retrieving it already cost you a fortune in time, electricity and transportation.

And if you’re hauling all these buckets of water every day, would you irrigate at all? Or would you search for the most efficient methods and products for watering because you know what a precious gift water is?

But this is America and someone else does all of those things for us. So why do we think we shouldn’t have to pay them for the work they do? The water flowing from our faucets is not magic at all; it is engineering and electricity, pipes and pumps, toil, travel and treatment. It may come from nature, but it takes about as much work to put a gallon of water under your Christmas tree as an X-Box or a Barbie Dream Car.

The Gift of Life. While your own children may think a gallon of water is a terrible gift, around the world, 3,000 children die each day from unsafe water and lack of sanitation facilities., according to UNICEF. Those kids would love nothing more than clean water for Christmas. In developing countries, where clean water saves lives, improves economies, and provides endless opportunities for women and children, what better gift could there be?

The $30 billion it would cost to provide clean water and sanitation to the entire world sounds like an overwhelming amount until you consider Americans will spend approximately $465 billion on Christmas this year, according to the National Retail Association. Charities like The Water Project and charity:water help you provide clean water to one person in need for less than the cost of a Lego set.

Would you be happy if someone made a gift of water in your name instead of sending you a gift? Tweet your response to @h2oBloggers with #L&L or leave a message on Facebook at Water Bloggers.

The author is Regional Marketing Specialist at ValleyCrest Landscape Companies and blogger at