Blog: A splash of cold water on the Ice Bucket Challenge

3, 2, 1… Splash! It’s the craze right now with videos of it flooding my Facebook news feed every day. David Beckham has done it, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates has […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

3, 2, 1… Splash!

It’s the craze right now with videos of it flooding my Facebook news feed every day. David Beckham has done it, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates has and so have a lot of the A-listers in Hollywood.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about (perhaps you’ve been living in a cave?), it’s the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. People are getting dunked with ice cold water, recording it and challenging someone else to do it.

Why? To raise funds and awareness for ALS – a condition that damages the nerve cells and eventually leads to paralysis.

And if someone nominates you, you either take up the challenge, else donate $100 to ALS.

It’s what’s hot right now (or should I say cold!) and has gone viral – everyone’s doing it across the globe.

But wait, not everyone.

When I first saw the videos emerging on social media sites, I thought it was a bit of fun for a good cause. But recently, something struck me.

Has anyone actually thought about how much water has been wasted so far?

Especially at a time when we’re told we must be conserving it and many countries are having to live without any access to water.

Back in boarding school in India, believe it or not, we could only shower once a week – or twice if lucky! And that one bucket of water used for each ice plunge was the amount we could use for every shower.

Not because we couldn’t afford it but because of water scarcity.

Although that was more than a decade ago, it’s still a reality for many developing countries across the globe – and more than 700 million people still don’t have access to clean water!

Perhaps I need to get into the spirit of things but during the course of writing this blog, I found Twitter has caught on with the #droughtshaming hashtag. It used to target those leaving their lawn sprinklers on but is now targeting those taking on the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Anyone thought of #WasteWaterChallenge yet?

The campaign has helped raise millions of pounds for the charity – I get that – but perhaps it’s also time for everyone to take into account the water scarcity across the globe.

In Britain itself, we have water companies looking to install smart meters in properties in an effort to cut down on consumption after the Environment Agency described London and the Home Counties as “seriously water-stressed” late last year.

So if you’re next on your friend’s list to dump a cold bucket of water over your head, I suggest just writing a cheque and turning the tap off.

Surely, we don’t want to drain our resources…