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Sipping from the Stream by a Mountain Somewhere I once went hiking with a couple of friends. It was mid-September, just before the onset of cooler temperatures. The sun hung high over our heads, peeking out from between wisps of drifting cirrus clouds. It was my first hike, and even before we were half-way up the mountain’s summit, we’d run out of water. We’d all taken a break, most of us sitting by an irregularly shaped tree trunk, which slanted horizontally along the side of the mountain. “I’m thirsty,” I’d complained, looking around nervously trying to find a convenience store. Of course, there are no 7-Eleven’s in the mountains, no water coolers standing idly by. One of our friends, an experienced hiker, brought us over to a little creek off to one side. “If it’s running water, you can dip your jug in and take a sip,” he’d said, placing his own bottle just by the surface of the water. After it filled up, he raised his jug against the sunlight and inspected it for debris. “All clear,” he’d joked. I then watched in mesmerized horror as he took big, long gulps of it. “Come on, I’ll refill your bottle for you,” he’d said, offering me a hand. I didn’t have a choice, did I? We were going to be here the whole day, I needed water, and here it was. Unless you’re Bear Grylls, you probably don’t have to rely on running rivers as a water purification system, especially when you live in somewhere as cosmopolitan as Singapore. I love nature, but not enough to risk water-borne bacteria. It’s not that I’m being melodramatic, it’s that I’m being practical. With such efficient water treatment facilities in Singapore, it just doesn’t seem worth the risk to drink water straight from the soil. We’ve come a long way from the ancestors with respect to health-related technology. Sometimes we forget that in many areas outside Singapore, water purification systems aren’t as effective or efficient. Sometimes, it’s nonexistent. As much as I don’t want to pull out the “children dying of thirst in Africa” card, I have to. Because it’s true. Plenty of people in less developed or developing countries do not have access to water treatment facilities as efficient as those in Singapore, and therefore do not have access to clean water. I don’t exactly know what the statistics are, but I’m sure that those are a lot of unnecessary deaths. Nowadays, it’s easy for us to simply go and buy purified water to drink, or to use in our everyday activities. It’s not only readily available everywhere, but thanks to various water treatment processes, clean drinkable water has also been made affordable. At least, this is the case in Singapore. I’m grateful I don’t have to drink from a stream or a river and risk disease, but I think it’s something we all take for granted at a certain level. Many people don’t have this kind of security and we should all find ways, no matter how little, to help: whether it be through donations or through lessening our own water waste. In any case, the least we can do is be grateful.

Sipping from the Stream by a Mountain Somewhere  

Unless you’re Bear Grylls, you probably don’t have to rely on running rivers as a water purification system, especially when you live in som...

Sipping from the Stream by a Mountain Somewhere  

Unless you’re Bear Grylls, you probably don’t have to rely on running rivers as a water purification system, especially when you live in som...

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