Now more than ever water conservation by each one of us is required to not only save the planet, but to save ourselves as well.
Did you know that our world is lurking on the edges of crisis mode in relation to having enough water to sustain our worldwide population? Did you know that in spite of this scarcity of water, a bigger problem exists today with the lack of access to water? Let me share some interesting, but sad facts with you.
Water is a renewable resource, but a finite one. 2.53% of the earth’s water is fresh water, and 2/3 of that are locked in glaciers and permanent snow cover. We have a real danger lurking in the very near future for world water shortages. No wonder they call it liquid gold.
A 2013 report by the U.N. states that more people (6 billion) have access to cellphones than toilets. Approximately 1.2 billion people have no facilities to insure hygienic separation of humans from their own excrement. Only 63% of all people worldwide have access to improved sanitation.
This results in some sobering facts. Today every 21 seconds a child dies from a water related disease. In 2009 it was every 15 seconds. We’ve seen improvement, which equates to saving approximately 1,656 children every day. But still an estimate of 4,100 children under the age of five die each day from diarrhea. Dirty water, malnutrition, inadequate sanitation, and hygiene lead to an additional 2,350 children under the age of 5 that die each day. The majority of illness is due to fecal matter in water supplies. Only 10% of all human waste generated gets treated. The rest ends in lakes, rivers, and our oceans.
There are three things most people in this world can not do. 1) Take a hot shower; 2) get clean water from a tap; 3) use a flush toilet
In 3 days the amount of untreated fecal matter would fill the Superdome.
Everyday 200 million work hours are consumed by women collecting water for their families. This is the equivalent to the amount of time needed to build 28 Empire State Buildings each year. Imagine!!!
Daily water usage per capita: 350 liters for North America and Japan; 200 liters for Europe; 10 – 20 liters for Sub-Saharan Africa. This should be an eye opener folks!
Up to 30% of all fresh water supplies are lost due to leakage in developed countries, and in some major cities this is as high as 40% – 70%.
So what does all of this have to do with us as individuals. Each of us should be taking a personal responsibility to conserve our water. It is a precious resource and should be treated as such.
1) Above all else, learn to value water and teach others to do so as well
2) Do not allow taps to drip
3) Promptly repair leaks. One leak can waste several thousand liters per year.
4) Use water flow reducers on taps to minimize usage
5) Never wash dishes with tap running. Partially fill the sink.
6) Only wash full loads of clothing.
7) When shaving, partially fill the sink. This will save approximately 60% of water normally used.
8) Use low flow flush toilets and save 40% – 50%.
9) Turn the water off in the shower when shampooing your hair. This could save 150 gallons per month.
10) Turn off the water when bruising teeth.
11) Instead of using your garbage disposal, try composting those kitchen wastes.
A recent study by NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences states 1 out of 10 watersheds in the U.S. are stressed with demand that exceeds natural supply. The top 11 cities in the most severe situations, in order of most severe are:
Salt Lake City, Utah; Lincoln, NE; Cleveland, OH; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA; Washington D.C.; El Paso, TX; San Antonio, TX; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Houston, TX; and finally Los Angeles, CA.