This message is not intended to start a conspiracy theory, but just to suggest that we take our earth more seriously. Hopefully, we will question ourselves by asking if what we are doing is hurting or helping this earth be fruitful as the Creator intended it to be. Lately, there has been much talk about wars. There has been rumors of wars and just a few day ago with the blowing up of some oil fields in Saudi Arabia, much discussion about retaliating has been on the surface. I always thought that the oil and gas would be the cause of the next world war, but not so. The cause will be a shortage of FRESH WATER.

My mind reflected on a conversation that I had a couple of years ago. Until that time, I would have argued anyone to the last word that I knew the main cause of our next war. One reason for that belief is because I have seen so much fighting in areas where oil and gas are plentiful. However, since we have been witnessing the devastating storms, floods, polluted waters and fires I am inclined to think differently. Other than the dire need for food and shelter, have you noticed what always has to be shipped to the devastated people? Water ... fresh water.

I am reminded of a statement a friend said to me many years ago, at the time I did not take her seriously. During that time, we had not been blessed with rain for 5 months in the area in which I live. As a result of that, the yard was brown, the trees were dying as they are presently, especially the dogwood trees. The armadillos were rooting up the yard just to eat moist roots to stay alive. We could not get a burn permit for many months, just as now.

One day while visiting in the country, Rose sat on the porch in deep thought and with a look of contemplation on her face she turned to me and said, “You are going to have a run on your fresh water pump because we are going to run out of fresh water in this country … I mean in this world.” I had not thought about that possibility, but today some years later, I am thinking that she was onto something. The ocean waters cannot be consumed even though 97.5% of the water is in the sea. What do we have left to drink from? We have only 3% of fresh water to drink. However, man is polluting our rivers and streams with radioactive waste, sewer runoff, waste from the many thousands of plants and factories.

Each time that I collect water from the spring in my little quaint town I am reminded of how blessed we are to have fresh water so readily available. Rose was serious as she spoke truth to the situation. Recently, I have been thinking about the New Jersey water situation, the Flint water crisis, and in recent days the Dekalb water crisis occurred and hundreds of thousand people were told to boil their water until told otherwise. Since the last storm we have all watched the many gallons of water being sent to different places, both in the country as well as out of the country. By the time this article is printed many other areas will be posting a fresh water crisis.

Many will say this is not a possibility, but when we think about how polluted our rivers and streams are, one will have to conclude that maybe this could happen. The rivers and streams are not going any place, but the fresh water contained in them now will not be healthy for human consumption.

I decided to research where we can locate fresh water areas in the world. There are three lakes in Africa that now hold 30% of all fresh water in the world: Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Malawi. The top five countries that hold the most fresh water are Brazil, Russia, United States, Canada and China respectively.

It is strange how we take natural resources for granted and will even abuse them. The water crisis can become a health crisis as we see in areas where the people are required to boil the water before consumption. Did you know that nearly 1 million people die each year from water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases which could be reduced with access to safe water or sanitation? According to research, did you know that every 2 minutes a child dies from a water-related disease? Access to safe water and sanitation contributes to improved health and helps prevent the spread of infectious disease. It means reduced child and maternal mortality rates, which is high in Georgia.

Actually, the water crisis has just officially begun for those of us here in America, but with all of the regulations being torn down the effects will manifest themselves faster. If we are not careful about our wastefulness and our mis-management of our natural resources, this war will come sooner. We can delay the arrival of this war by being more considerate of our children and grandchildren who will occupy this planet when we are gone.

Several days ago, some report came out about another unknown planet showing itself, and it is believed that it has enough moisture to sustain life. If man goes there will he be more resourceful and less selfish?

If we stop allowing greed to control our decisions, the next war can be slowed down but not avoided. Some things just must happen because there are consequences to man’s behavior.

Willie Mae Samuel is a playwright and a director in Rome. She is the founder and director of the African American Connection of the Performing Arts Inc.

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