Water is our Earth's most precious resource. Without it, humans and all life would die. With low water supplies, we would not be able to do many of the things that keep us in our current, comfortable lifestyle; things like shower every day, cook, run buildings and offices.. the list goes on and on. And while those of us in the United States use a large portion of the world's water and other resources, we often don't realize how crucial it is that we reverse this as much as possible.
Why is it so important?
Why is it so important?
- By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population – or 5.3 billion people – will suffer from water shortages. Right now, 1.1 billion people – or 1 in 6 people worldwide – do not have access to clean water.
- Every year, 1.8 million children die from waterborne diseases; that is one dead child every 15 seconds. Water-related diseases caused by contaminated water and inadequate sanitation are responsible for 80% of all illness in the developing world.
- Seasonal runoff from glaciers provides drinking water for 1/6 of the world’s population, but global warming is expected to permanently melt 1/4 of the world's glaciers.
- The agriculture industry is the largest user of water in the world today. It accounts for 70% of all fresh water used every year, and consumption of water by farms will only increase to feed a growing population: 2.7 billion people by 2050.
- 1,374 square miles of land turns to desert every year, an environmental crisis that affects 200 million people and threatens the lives of many more. Global desertification threatens 1/5 of the world’s population and 1/3 of the Earth’s land surface (15 million square miles.
- Half of the world’s 500 major rivers are seriously depleted or polluted by industrial, agricultural, and human waste.
- Four quarts of oil discarded during an average oil change in a car can contaminate up to 1 million gallons of water.
- Even the water in the U.S. isn't as clean as we think. Residue from antidepressants, birth control pills and antibiotics are found in 80% of U.S. waterways and groundwater, according to the EPA.
- Worldwide, 2 million tons of human, industrial, and agricultural wastes are discharged into rivers and lakes every day. On average, no more than 1/3 of the waste water in developing countries is treated before being discharged into rivers, streams, and lakes, while one quart of untreated waste water pollutes eight quarts of fresh water.
- Many water sources have become so polluted & over-fished that 1 in every 5 of the world’s freshwater species have become extinct, threatened, or endangered in recent decades.
What can you do now to help conserve water?
- Shorten your showers to less than 10 minutes. Already doing it in less than 10 minutes? Make it 7.
- Turn off the water while you're brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face.
- Leaky faucet or shower head? A dripping faucet can waste up to 2,000 gallons/7,600 liters of water a year. Check the plumbing in your house and repair the leaks as soon as possible.
- Consider investing in low-flush toilets, shower heads and faucet aerators. You’ll save thousands of gallons of water each year and your water bill will be lower! Also, avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other such waste in the trash.
- Call your water utility company and ask for a copy of their latest water quality report. Public water utilities regularly test the quality of the drinking water they provide to customers.
- Reduce your use of pesticides and fertilizers, and look for safer alternatives to control weeds and bugs. Lawn and garden pesticides and fertilizers can pollute the water. Some alternatives are geraniums to repel Japanese beetles; garlic and mint to repel aphids; and marigolds to repel white flies.
- When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet. If you have a dishwasher, these are actually more water-efficient than handwashing, but be sure to be energy-efficient!
- To make the most of the water you use outdoors, never water your lawn at the hottest time of day (usually in the early to mid-afternoon) or when it's windy. Turnoff your sprinklers when it’s raining. On average, 50% - 70% of household water is used outdoors for watering lawns and gardens. If you have a garden, consider using the water you collect from rain, etc to water the plants instead of using fresh water straight from the hose.
- Have a garden? Use mulch. It helps to conserve water by holding moisture in the earth longer.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run every time you want a cool glass of water.
- Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator.
What other ideas can you think of to help conserve water? Leave a comment and share below :)!