It’s all around us. It flows from our faucets whenever we turn the knob. It pours down from the sky. Even in times of drought, we still have water in our houses. Why should we have to worry about it? It’s our right as citizens to have water, and it will always be there, right?
99.7% of the earth’s water cannot be used. We depend on a limited supply of freshwater for every day use and agriculture, among other things. 90% of countries share water supplies with other countries, which means that conflict could arise over water shortages.
Production accounts for a huge amount of water use. For example, one cotton t-shirt requires 713 gallons of water. One gallon of beer takes 689 gallons. One pound of beef requires 1799 gallons of water. 70% of all freshwater use is in agriculture.
Access to clean water is one of the biggest problems in the world today. One child dies every 20 seconds due to a water related disease, and only 54% of the world has access to clean, fresh water in their home.
As the population of the world increases, don’t be fooled and think that there will be water for everyone – more people means an increased need for agriculture and production of goods, which all requires a ton of water.
Climate change has a negative affect on the amount of fresh water available. Droughts are more severe and more frequent. My grandparents often have limits on how much water they can use because they live in Arizona. I can’t imagine having limits being put on my water usage, and I bet a lot of you can’t either.
There is so much more I could say about why water is important and why you need to think of it as a limited resource, but I’ll leave that to you if you’re interested. Instead, I have a challenge for you.
Yesterday, I took a fifteen minute shower. I plugged the drain to see how much water I used in that time – the tub almost overflowed. I remember reading somewhere that the average shower used less water than a bath, but not in my case. My shower head lets out SO much water – it feels fantastic for getting clean, but when I looked at how much water was around my legs, I felt terrible. I am going to go back to my six minute or less showers and try to save as much water as possible.
Tomorrow, in honor of world water day, I challenge you to test yourself – plug your tub while you shower, see how much water you use, and try to use less. The more water you use, the more water has to be treated at the wastewater treatment plant, which is expensive and wasteful and will eventually lead to water bills getting higher.
Your wallet will thank you – not only will you be saving on your water bill, but you will be saving on heating that water.
Everything is connected, you just have to consider it for a minute.