I have lived near water for most of my life but I rarely had to think about it. That was until I moved to San Antonio. While not a desert, it is a place where people text each other when it rains on their block. We watch the evening news to learn how high water is in the Edward’s Aquifer and our current water use restriction.
The Bible has a lot to say about water. There are 500 references to water not including rivers, rains, wells, floods, seas and storms. Mary’s water broke and Jesus was born. Water came out of Jesus’ pierced side and he was dead. The Hebrews crossed the Red Sea into a new life. We are baptized as a symbol of our new life. God destroyed the world with a flood. Jesus told the woman at the well that he gives us Living Water.
Water is a big deal. Our bodies are 70% water. The surface of our planet is 71% water. However, 97% is in the oceans. Only 3% of earth’s water is fresh (not salty) but only 0.5% of it is accessible. So, 2.5% of the earth's fresh water is unavailable: locked up in glaciers, polar ice caps, atmosphere, and soil. Some is highly polluted or lies too far under the earth's surface to be extracted at an affordable cost.
One out three people in the world do not have access to clean water. On the other hand, the average American family uses 300 gallons of water per day. FEMA recommends that, in an emergency, each person will need one gallon of water per day. We use 3 gallons of water when we brush our teeth with the water running. That’s three days of water by FEMA’s calculation.
Water is essential for all life and is one of God’s gifts to all humanity. We ought to consume it with thanksgiving and be mindful of those who lack it. The simple act of not letting the water run while we brush our teeth can be one small way we can show our gratitude for this precious resource.