Our World is Facing a Water Crisis

 In Intentions, Natural Resources
Water nuclear bomb

In the developed world, most people think nothing of turning on a tap and dispensing clean, safe water. Unfortunately, that’s a luxury the rest of the world can’t afford– and the problem is spreading. There’s a looming water crisis, and avoiding the damage won’t be easy.

Water leaves and returns to the Earth via the water cycle. It’s a vigorous recycling process that has enabled the Earth to support an abundance of life for millions of years. Unfortunately, water is a finite resource by its very nature. While all of the water you consume will eventually be returned, this doesn’t account for the dramatic population growth the human race has gone through. The amount of freshwater on Earth has remained pretty stable; our population has not.

The other thing threatening the water supply is changes in distribution. Things like pipelines and bottled water re-route clean, potable water from natural sources of it, and return it to the water cycle in different areas. This can reduce the water level in places that normally have abundant access to it, while simultaneously restricting access to drinkable water by putting it into a form that consumers are required to pay inflated prices for.

Fortunately, there are some key ways that people can reduce their contribution to the water crisis. It’s always good to consciously conserve water around the home, by turning off taps when they aren’t in use, taking shorter showers, using drought-resistant gardening techniques, and reducing the amount of water that gets wasted. However, this doesn’t really save as much water as it seems– in 2000, for example, public supply water use only accounted for 11% of all freshwater use in the U.S.

Conscientious shopping is one of the biggest ways consumers can help avert some water use. Avoid buying bottled water or produce that requires a lot of water. Purchase goods packaged in sustainable materials. Avoid buying new goods if they aren’t needed– industry is another area that puts a hit on freshwater levels. Lastly, boycott products from companies known to engage in destructive water practices.

Access to freshwater is absolutely necessary for the survival of everything on Earth. With the appropriate measures, we can help limit the impact of the impending freshwater shortage.

Links:
Freshwater Crisis
Human Appropriation of the World’s Fresh Water Supply
Water Use in the United States

by The Great Gathering
Copyright The Great Gathering 2014©

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