United Methodist Committee on Relief

Five Ways to Make Water Last

These two young girls in Haiti were pleased to have drinkable water following the 2010 earthquake, thanks to UMCOR partner GlobalMedic.These two young girls in Haiti were pleased to have drinkable water following the 2010 earthquake, thanks to UMCOR partner GlobalMedic.

By Julia Frisbie*

March 6, 2014—Around the world, at least 780 million people lack access to clean drinking water, says the United Nations, adding that, by some measures, the number of people whose right to water is not satisfied could be as high as 3.5 billion. An estimated 2.5 billion people are without sanitation. The demand for water is growing as our global population grows and societies continue to develop—but the amount of water we have in the world is fixed. 

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) joins with the United Nations to mark World Water Day, March 22, and raise awareness of these issues. Here’s what you can do to help!

  1. Speed up your shower. Showering is a “big win” in terms of saving water—a four-minute shower uses 20-40 gallons of water. Other things you can do reduce your water consumption are checking for leaks in pipes and faucets and landscaping with drought-resistant plants. The bottom line is: don’t take water for granted.

  2. Conserve energy. Ninety percent of power generation is water-intensive. So, saving energy saves water, and saving water saves energy. Turn off the lights and unplug any “energy vampires” in your home. These are appliances that you rarely use, but that you leave plugged in. They’re using electricity even when they’re turned off, unless you unplug them! 

  3. Advocate online. Choose an image from the UN’s World Water Day website for your Facebook profile or cover photo. Include a caption that tells your friends something about World Water Day, such as: “At least 780 million people around the world don’t have safe drinking water—let’s change that through World Water Day!” You can also share this article with your friends on Facebook.

  4. Donate! UMCOR’s Water and Sanitation (WASH) programs improve access to clean water around the world. Read about UMCOR’s efforts to drill boreholes for water in South Sudan, build wells in Nicaragua, and promote hand washing in Haiti. UMCOR has even provided emergency water in West Virginia after a chemical spill contaminated their water source. Donations to Advance #3020600 keep water projects afloat.

  5. Inspire your community. Ask your pastor what your church is doing to celebrate World Water Day. Consider liturgies and prayers that focus on water. UMCOR’s partner, El Porvenir, has published resources for faith groups, including a mission moment, bulletin insert, sermon, and devotional guide. Consider taking a special offering for UMCOR’s WASH projects. When you invite your church to participate through mission giving, God can multiply your efforts! 

Support UMCOR Water & Sanitation, Advance #3020600.

And remember One Great Hour of Sharing on March 30. Learn more.

*Julia Frisbie is a writer and regular contributor to

Support UMCOR Water & Sanitation, Advance #3020600. And remember One Great Hour of Sharing on March 30.