I don't know how many people will read this, probably tens at most, but World Blog Action Day is about making people think about stuff that makes them uncomfortable and so it has an instant appeal for me.

The topic this year is water.  Lack of decent drinking water and sanitation kills more people than war and every other act of violence every week, it just doesn't make the headlines or the evening news programme. News isn't news anymore.  It's entertainment, it's numbers.  If Premier League footballers and hookers sell papers then that is news.  If 42,000 people a week die for lack of decent water and sanitation, well that's just the way it is.  It lacks the gloss or excitement to make it newsworthy.  Think about that for a moment 42,000.  Outside of some massive sporting events that's more people than you've probably ever seen in one place at one time.  Wembley stadium holds 90,000 people, imagine that full to capacity and all those people dying over a TWO WEEK PERIOD.  What's even more mind blowing is that the money spent on weapons of war over a period of one week could resolve this problem almost entirely if it could be diverted. If you use the US version of a billion then one weeks arms spending in 2009 was $29,450,000,000 (29.4 BILLION dollars).

In the West we have water, mostly, on tap and give no thought to it.  We bathe and shower and drink, we wash the car and our clothes, water the garden.  We give little thought to those in the less developed nations who, if they're lucky, walk miles to collect clean water from wells supplied through the work of religious and secular charities.  Most of these charities are desperate for your support (want to support one just google water charities).  Many of them are able to provide someone with water, for life, for a tiny sum.  About £14 will help provide water to one person for 20 years according to the statistics of one charity.  That's a takeaway meal for two.  Think about that next time you sit down to a takeaway curry.

If all that is too much to get your head around then think about this.  Every drop of water you use has to be cleaned, recycled and the waste dumped.  When I was a kid living along the Solent waste used to be dumped straight into the river.  You could literally sit on Weston Shore, near Southampton, and watch someones crap float down the river.  We've cleaned our act up a lot since those days.  Recycling has improved but we're still dumping tonnes of waste further out into the Solent every day.  Just because we can't see it don't mean it ain't there.  So how about trying to cut back on your consumption.Use an economy wash on the washing machine, turn the tap off when you brush your teeth put a housebrick in your toilet cistern and cut down how much you flush.  Small steps but if everyone did them it makes a difference.

You know, I thought I could write about this dispassionately but the more I think about it the angrier it's making me.  So I'm going to stop now and go and do something real about it instead.