We’re Running Out of Water: The Importance of Water Conservation
July 9, 2019
We’ve come to a time in life where recycling, eco-friendly, biodegradable, Rainforest Alliance Certified, and other terms alike have become a must-have label to define the quality of a product. These labels not the only state that the brand cares about the environment, but the effort they are putting forth to showcase that they’re doing the best they can at reducing their carbon footprint.
As consumers, we believe that buying products with these labels will suffice in our part of helping the environment and will fix all problems. Unfortunately, if it was that easy we would live on healthier earth.
There are greater issues we have not yet faced as its underlying truth hasn’t yet been projected on a label we can easily purchase to support, such as the issue of water conservation. Our daily habits of water consumption and usage are not easily tracked, making it difficult for us to realize the true impact we have on the environment’s water scarcity.
According to the United States Bureau Reclamation Water Facts:
- The earth is made up of 71% water
- 97% of the water on earth is found in oceans containing salt not suitable for drinking, growing crops, or any other industrial usage.
- Only 3% of the earth’s water is fresh
- 5% of that freshwater is either highly polluted, locked in glacier and polar caps, in the atmosphere, in soil or too far underneath the earth’s surface to retrieve
- That leaves us with 0.5% of available freshwater.
From these facts, we can see that with our large population on earth, there will be no perfect ratio of people to water and that’s why we must start conserving wisely, and properly or there will be major consequences in years to come.
Here are some ways you can help conserve water according to the State of Washington, Department of Ecology:
Now that we’re approaching the warmer months, more water is used for landscaping, washing cars more frequently, or sprinklers constantly turned on.
- Place a timer on your sprinkler so you control the length of time for the water being distributed
- Use adjustable nozzles for your hose when washing your car to preserve water when not needed
- Use native plants or other alternatives for your garden for the same look but less water needed
We use the most amount of water inside our homes as we’re constantly needing it for various reasons.
- Did you know every time you flush the toilet uses about 5 gallons of water? Throw trash in the trash, and not in the toilet.
- Showers are great, and we can’t avoid them but keep them short, one shower uses approximately 20-40 gallons of water.
- Laundry is something that must be done, but make sure you’re washing full loads because it’s about 25 gallons per every load.
We’ve grown up learning drinking enough water daily is important to overall health. Although we were never really taught how to do this economically or environmentally responsible.
- Bottled water is wasteful, most of us open a bottle and then don’t finish it. And the bottle? It was manufactured in a factory that needed water to perform.
- Drink from filtrated water systems that dispense only what is needed from the consumer and in a reusable cup, water bottle, or something that can be used again.
As mentioned earlier, we are working with less than 1% of water and the ways we can conserve are only for our personal usage and don’t even include the ways we use water to farm, generate electricity, manufacture, or recreationally.
Farming plays a crucial role in our planet’s food supply. With the small percentage of water available to us, a large amount of it is used for farming crops for our daily consumption of food.
- Dairy farms need just as much water as watering crops, and animals must be fed to keep them alive. Water is also used during the cooling process to keep meat fresh.
- 120 gallons of water is used to produce one egg, 300 gallons is used to produce one loaf of bread and the list goes on.
Hydropower makes up 20% of generated electricity and the more water can flow, the more electricity we can produce without having to burn billions of gallons of coal and oil each year. Industries are another entity that relies on water to manufacture products like chemicals, shampoos, or the production of steel.
Even though the water cycle eventually allows water to return, it doesn’t always return to the same place or in the same condition. With the increasing population on earth and the stagnant amount of water accessible, there will essentially reach a time where it won’t be able to keep up with our usage. This will lead to an increase in the costs of goods, political issues, and our health.
Every little thing you can do to help conserve water WILL make a difference. We all have to start somewhere, or we’ll get nowhere. So why not start today right in your office!