Image by dorena-wm
Water is vital to life on this planet. It is part and parcel to so many things we do or use on a daily basis. Therefore, on this Blog Action Day 2010 the global focus is on water. How vital water is to nature, life and survival. How many people don’t have access to clean water. How the average American uses anywhere between 50-150 gallons of water a day, which is way more than the amount used by individuals in developing countries.
Fresh, clean water is often something many people take for granted. They have always had access to clean water and they assume they always will. What about those people who rarely have access to clean water? It becomes a “luxury item” to them rather than a necessity. But where would we be without water? We need water to survive.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons water is vital to life:
1) Our bodies are made up of about 60% water. Without constantly refilling our water supply, we would become dehydrated and eventually not be able to live. Considering the fact that unsafe drinking water (along with unsanitary conditions) kills more people every year than war…it is no surprise how vital fresh water is to our basic existence.
Image by Ruth L
2) Without water, how would farmers grow food? How would animals survive? Let’s say for example that livestock didn’t have access to clean water. They could get ill from drinking dirty, bacteria-filled water. If we ate their meat, we too could become ill.
Image by Matt McGee
As far as fruits and vegetables, they wouldn’t be able to grow without water. So where would we be able to get our nutrients from? Nature all around us depends on water, without water we wouldn’t have lush forests, green grass, beautiful parks and all the natural life that existed long before we arrived.
3) Most manufacturing and construction processes require water in at least one or more of their steps. If water wasn’t available, then those products wouldn’t be able to be built. The car you drive, the road you drive on, the house you live in, the clothes you wear, etc, etc. More than likely these processes could still be accomplished with “dirty” water, but they do require water.
Now, despite the fact that over 70% of the planet is covered in oceans (aka water), it is salt water and not feasible to be used as drinking water. It is estimated that only about 2% of the water on the planet is fresh water and 1.6% of that can be found in ice caps or glaciers.
Additionally, we find that our global water system is changing. Freshwater flow into oceans is steadily rising and while some of that comes from melting ice caps and land-based glaciers due to climate change, there is also human factor involved.
“...when humans mine the [underground] water for above-ground consumption, they add extra water to the global water cycle…”
It’s high time we start not only conserving more water but making fresh, clean water accessible to the rest of the world. Remember, necessity is the mother of invention and here are a few conservation ideas and inventions that can help make clean water available across the globe.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth
- Limit your shower time, turn off the water while you “soap up”
- Check for and fix leaky faucets
- Get ‘waterless’ cookware to save water while cooking
- Water your plants/garden early morning or late in the day (when the sun isn’t high in the sky)
- Try these 6 water-saving garden tips
- Ensure you fill up the dishwasher and/or washer before using them
- Don’t pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher
- Try a ‘waterless’ car wash product to keep your car clean
Life-saving fresh water inventions:
- LifeSaver® bottles were originally designed as a solution for people who had become victims of natural disasters. Today Lifesaver bottles come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and are being used around the world to give people access to safe, fresh, drinkable water under almost any circumstances.
- LifeStraw is another invention designed to give people access to clean water. It takes dirty water and through the use of a filter in the straw, turns it into safe drinking water. This is especially vital for developing countries and people who don’t have clean drinking water available. Even hikers, etc can take advantage of this life-saving invention.
- Tea bag filter capable of turning a liter of dirty water into clean, safe drinking water. It apparently only costs half a cent to use, so that makes it pretty feasible anywhere in the world.
Those are just a few of the amazing, life-saving inventions people have come up with to help make clean, safe drinking water accessible to anyone.
On this Blog Action Day 2010, help spread the word about the need for clean water through your actions, your tweets, your blog, etc. But also please keep in mind the fact that water is a vital part of each and everyone of us – so use it wisely.