Clean Water - opinions of Philip Oldfield - Author of novels with strong female protagonists.

Are  you dying of thirst?

There are 750 million people in the world, that's 1 in 9 of us who lack access to clean and safe water.

I awoke this morning feeling thirsty. Now I know why. The news on BBC Radio 4, a painting by Picasso: 'Women of Algiers,' had broken art auction records selling in New York to an anonymous buyer for $179.3m (£115m). 

Astonishing and a grotesque use of money. These were, but the first thoughts that assailed me. My reaction is not about the aesthetics of the painting, nor of the artist, who is undoubtedly a master in art. Nor, I have to declare, is it a judgement on the buyer. My reaction touched upon how much one hundred and fifteen million pounds - £115,000,000 - would achieve if it was used elsewhere. Here are some selected facts:

Median annual gross salary of full-time workers in the UK in 2014 was £27,195. Over 4,200 jobs in the UK could be supported for a year (not including employer on-costs). Or employ over 5,350 nurses in the UK for a year. The starting salary for a nurse is £21,478. 

​​The sale price of Picasso's painting, Women in Algiers, which sold for $179.3 m, would provide 7.2 million people with clean, safe water.

Reservoir of water - Author - Philip Oldfield
Picasso - Author - Philip Oldfield

​​​​Author of cross genre psychological thrillers and romantic comedies, all with strong female protagonists


Access to clean, safe water

But here is the most stunning impact the sale of the painting by Picasso ($179.3m/£115m) could achieve...

According to Water.Org  $25 will provide access to clean, safe water for one person.

The maths. It's simple. The sale of Picasso's painting, Women in Algiers, which sold for $179.3m would provide 7,172,000 people with clean, safe water.

Just think, almost 7.2 million people no longer dying of thirst. 

We could all drink to that, couldn't we?

Philip A. Oldfield