What you need to know about water in this scorching heat

The scorching heat of summer has made it impossible to last a day without taking one, two or three baths.

Before you turn on that shower, take a few minutes to ponder on these water facts:

1. A five-minute shower uses more water than an average person in an underdeveloped country uses for an entire day.

2. One billion people have no access to safe drinking water.

3. Three and a half million people die each year from water-related diseases.

4. More people die from waterborne diseases than from wars.

5. Two hundred million hours a day is spent on collecting water in underdeveloped areas.

6. Every 20 seconds, one child dies due to a waterborne illness.

7. All over the world, there are more mobile phones than toilets.

Disinfecting water

The lack of potable drinking water has fueled the research at the Johns Hopkins University Global Water Program to come up with ways to bring safe drinking water to millions who have none.

Here are some easy ways to disinfect water for drinking:

1. Pass water through a cheesecloth or coffee filter and boil water for 3 minutes.

2. Fill a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle with 1 to 2 liters of water and expose to the sun for at least 6 hours on a sunny day or 48 hours on a cloudy day.

3. Add 30 ml. of lime juice (dayap) to 2 liters of water and let stand for 30 minutes.

4. Add 2 drops of bleach to 1 liter of water and let stand for 30 minutes.

5. Add 5 drops of 2 percent iodine (found in your medicine cabinet) to 1 gallon water.

Some of these methods may seem extreme when having purified drinking water delivered to your home is just a phone call away. But the information may come in handy in the event of natural disasters (of which the Philippines has more than its fair share) or when the water delivery guy is nowhere in sight.

Have a medical question for the Blogging Doc? Drop her a line at www.filipinamd.com.

Dr. Diana Sarmiento is a mother of three, part-time doctor, and a full-time wife and mother. The topics closest to her heart are women’s health, parenting, and any new information that she can get her hands on.

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