Effective leaders know that the seeds of danger reside in our greatest pleasure. So, the risks must be managed and threats immediately addressed.
Everyone enjoys water! Just picture a baby splashing around at bath time, hoping that the silky wet fun will never end. At the end of bath time mommy is soaked with the thrills experienced by her little one. This joy of water continues as we harness the benfits for daily living – domestic uses, industrial uses, and for luxury tourism (Mitchell, 2014; https://www.dropbox.com/s/civ6jnmfx6lsmdm/Jamaica_CC%26Water2.docx?dl=0).
Although water can be a lot of fun, but it can also be at the center of many problems. From a lack of potable water and water borne diseases to low yields and diseased plants in agriculture water issues are everywhere (Mitchell, 2016; http://indusedu.org/pdfs/IJRESS/IJRESS_921_54211.pdf). So, leaders know that when it comes to water battles they have to deal with the problems as soon as they occur.
Among the greatest concerns is contaminated water. Water distributed to our homes and other places is susceptible to lead poisoning. This results from plumbing materials that contain lead corrode, and the water is very acidic or has very little mineral content which corrodes pipes and fixtures. Also, lead pipes commonly found in older cities and homes built before 1986 are a point of concern (Environmental Protection Agency, 2019; https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/basic-information-about-lead-drinking-water).
However, what is necessary can become deadly with the threats of contamination. One major contaminant is lead. Lead is a
“Heavy metal that can cause mental retardation, and increase in the rate of infections and cancer by blunting body’s defense mechanisms (the immune system)” (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/lead-Pb.html). Signs of lead poisoning according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (2018) include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Memory loss
- Pain or tingling in the hands and/or feet
- Weak (https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/health.html).
One of the most notable crises is the Flint water crisis of 2014 when the city changed their water source to the Flint River (CNN Library, 2019; https://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/04/us/flint-water-crisis-fast-facts/index.html). This has again been brought into the spotlight by the current water crisis in Newark due to elevated levels of lead from the city’s 18,000 old lead pipes. The result has been a citywide ban on drinking the water, and mass distribution of bottled water (Yi & Salant, 2019; https://www.nj.com/essex/2019/08/booker-left-newark-years-before-water-lead-levels-spiked-but-what-happened-under-his-watch.html).
Victims “generally do not pose contamination risks to rescuers unless their clothing or skin is heavily contaminated with lead in solid form or as solutions of lead salts. … The treatment course for lead poisoning is determined by confirmed results of lead levels in venous blood. Removal from exposure may be followed by chelation therapy in patients with blood lead levels between 45 and 70 µg/dL.”Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2014; https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/MMG/MMG.asp?id=1203&tid=22.
Undoubtedly, there are water woes where you live. From climate change and drought conditions, to fires, extensive road works, and more, ordinary citizens all across the world are stressed. As you work to manage your personal water woes, expand your horizons on how Jamaica has grappled with her issues at https://www.dropbox.com/s/civ6jnmfx6lsmdm/Jamaica_CC%26Water2.docx?dl=0 or explore more offerings at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .
As the summer comes to an end, why don’t you dance your way into some cold water, knowing that somewhere, somehow, help is on the way.