Understanding the Importance of Water

Image by Jaine / Creative Commons

In honor of World Water Day 2012, I thought I would take a quick look at the importance of water in our society, in our lives and in our future. We’ve all heard the saying, “Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink”. Although water is a somewhat renewable resource, with over 7 billion people inhabiting the planet, water is being used at an alarming rate, often much faster than it is being replenished.

In fact, did you know that water is used to produce almost everything we eat? Of course some foods use more water than other foods, but according to reports, agriculture accounts for 70% of our total water use. Also, the We Are Water Foundation warns that “We Eat More Water Than We Drink”. That fact does not even take into account all the water we are wasting when we throw away uneaten food.

To add to that, there are many countries where people take water for granted. Of course we’ll have water? Just turn on the faucet and it is there, right? No. That is not true for much of the world. Over 880 million people lack access to clean water, and over 3.5 million die each year from diseases caused by contaminated, dirty or otherwise unhealthy water.

And this all happens despite the fact that technology exists to take some of the dirtiest water and filter it so it is clean and drinkable. There are LifeSaver® bottles, the LifeStraw, Tea Bag Filters and more, all designed to give people access to fresh water.

You may wonder what this has to do with you. Well, even in fully developed areas, if disaster strikes, the lack of clean water will have a dramatic impact on people’s lives and their ability to survive. That is why it is important to not only understand the value of water, but to know how to get clean, fresh, drinkable water from unexpected sources.

Our water usage goes far beyond what we drink and eat, though. Take a look at this infographic in order to get an idea on where you may be wasting water and what steps you can take to lower your usage and save money in the bargain. If you think about, you are probably wasting more water than you should. Sometimes simply taking the time to become aware of your actions, is enough to get you started on making a change.

There is little in this world that does not require water in some shape or form. Water is used in agriculture, manufacturing, science, technology and more. That is why it is extremely important that we take measures to curb the crisis and protect our water resources.

Take a look at the Big Picture and you will see how vital clean, fresh, accessible water is to you and the rest of the 7 billion people on this planet. How would your life change if you didn’t have access to clean water like you do now?

So in honor of World Water Day 2012, please take a few moments and figure out what you can do to save water at home, at the office, in the garden, while cooking, when you are out and about, and more. Every action helps.

As a further note: for those of you who are interested in learning more about how climate change is impacting not only our water supply, but our future, 350.org is hosting an event on May 5th to help everyone”Connect the Dots“.

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