Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.
That sound is water flowing down a drain. Then into a series of pipes getting larger and larger as they flow through houses, buildings and neighborhoods. Eventually these pipes connect to a sewer main line and there after a wastewater treatment plant.
Water simply sent back into its origin to be cleaned and treated using vast amounts of energy and power simply because a tap was left on. This unfortunately ends up totaling to the two-trillion gallons of clean drinking water lost every year. To understand how fortunate we are to receive this clean drinking water in our homes we must reassess the way we use water and the way in which we have supplied ourselves with it.
What do we use water for? How did we supply ourselves in the past, and how are we going to supply ourselves in the present and future?
How do we use water?
Humans use water for all types of commodities including the use of water on their bodies, to replenish themselves, the use of water in production (producing jeans, dusting off jewels, power washing, making beer) and even to wash our clothes.
However, humans aren’t the only ones on this planet that need water. Animals, plants and living organisms all around the world need water to live a successful and healthy lifestyle.
So, the question daunts us;
Are we running out of water?
Water is one of the most renewable sources on the planet. It surrounds us everywhere; in fact it makes up seventy-one percent of the world. Safe to say that there is a lot of water out there. It is evident that we aren’t going to be running out of water anytime soon but how much of that is fresh, pure and drinkable water? How are we ensuring supply?
Let’s take a quick look at the past and what they did to supply themselves with water. In the past ancient civilizations like Egypt, Peru and India relied on finding potable drinking water through rushing rivers, digging into the earth to find water reservoirs or naturally through springs and geysers. They understood that most of the time they couldn’t just drink the water, so naturally they boiled the water first killing off any bacteria that may live in the water before drinking it. Most of the time the demand was always there for clean drinkable water by the people living in the ancient civilizations, but the supply of the water was not necessarily always there. Humans had to actively look for sources of water to bring to their families and people.
Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash
Right now, potable water comes to you with the simple flick of a faucet. Water, nowadays, is stored in facilities and reservoirs around cities. Pipes and pressurized pumps are connected from these reservoirs to your homes ensuring a supply of water whenever is needed. We have created a system where supply almost always meets demand. But will we be able to sustain this in the future?
The answer is yes, but we have to work hard to ensure it. If the current methods in which we use water don’t change, the world will only have sixty percent of the water it needs in 2030. By 2040 it is said that there will not be enough water in the world to quench the thirst of the entire world population while keeping energy standards at the same rate as what they are at today.
Photo by Limor Zellermayer on Unsplash
We need to change but, how do we? Small Consistent Actions. Simple things can help reduce your direct and indirect footprint. Awesome websites such as waterfootprint.org or en.reset.org provide great tips to capitalize on decreasing your water and energy footprint.
Just wanted to leave you with a final piece of food for thought.
We lose a vast amount of water annually to simple, and easy-to-fix problems. But have you ever considered the bigger problems that water pollution faces? What pollutes our ocean and how does it affect our ocean life? How do you even clean something in the middle of the ocean? I invite you to create these crazy ideas that might flood your head. Create the change that you want to see. Challenge the norm and break boundaries.