Thanks for the reply.
So then there is some truth to the "water is expensive" reason for not washing, huh? The idea of people stinking in parts of African and the middle-east doesn't surprise me, however I would have expected differently from people in a developed "western nation".
Let me ask you--why would water be so expensive in Europe, is it not so plentiful there as it is here? Me, I don't see us having any serious water shortages on this continent anytime soon--too many lakes and rivers. And though it's very expensive and would indeed drive water costs up--there's always the ocean and option of desalination plants like in Saudi Arabia.
You need to do some research into water supplies in the US and elsewhere. I dont know the issues in Europe, but I can guess it has to do with borders and watershed locations...
You need to consider the true cost of water when a poor family has to go fetch it from a well that is often a few miles from home, and has to be carried back - often under dangerous conditions. When a mother and her children have to carry water back in jugs, and do it nearly everyday - often taking up 1/3 of their time and 1/2+ of their energy...to do it. Washing their underarms is an extreme luxury at that point...
Water supplies in the US are shrinking and the climate changes are not helping the replenishment.
Your words, "I don't see us..." is exactly the problem. Water supplies are usually that not seen - aquifers like the Ogallala - and as such "viewed" as an inextinguishable supply. But its not.
Desalinization is like most other newer, cutting edge, "green" technologies in the US - looked at with suspicions and often by derision by mostly status quo conservatives. We are woefully short-sighted in this and other technologies. We barely reclaim much waste water as it is...and we waste millions of liquid tons of it every day...and we all do it without thinking about it. Add the fact that we so freely dump toxic wastes into our fresh and salt water supplies...we're not only faced with desalinization of the salt waters, but purification as well. Take any port city in the US. The water in their nearest environs is not only salty its polluted up the wazoo.
Like most Americans you seem to live with your head in the sand.(Another resource we're nearly out of...good, quality sand to shore up our shorelines...!!!)