Water Crisis at A Glance.
Water ….. the most important thing in our life after air. Think about living without water. Human can survive about five weeks without food but no longer than five days without water 1). So we made every effort to access water in the shortest way. Turn on your faucet, voila … that most important thing for your survival flows as long, and as much as you want it. As simple as that, that often makes us forgetting the water crisis the world is facing today and ignoring the real cost we have to pay beyond the water bill.
The world’s stock of freshwater.
Despite of the fact that 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, only 2.5% of the Earth’s total water is freshwater. The rest, 97.5% is saltwater. Hence from the 1.4 billion km3 water we totally have, only 35 million km3 is consumable for human - water containing less than 1,000 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids, mostly salt. But it can neither be freely obtained, as more than two third of this freshwater is frozen in ice caps and glaciers. The rest one third is stored as ground water that accounts for 10.7 million km3, freshwater lakes and swamp hold about 0.1 million km3 and rivers, the most accessible form of freshwater, account for only 0.002 million km3 or about less than 0.01% of the total fresh water. All this, making only 0.7% of total global water resources available for consumption, that actually drive us to water scarcity.
We have to share this tiny amount of consumable water with other living species and plants on Earth. We also use this freshwater to grow our food : 87% of this consumable water is allocated for agricultural purposes. You might be surprise to learn how much water we need to make our daily food, that no wonders this will be the main cause that send us to water crisis. One slice of bread and one slice of cheese need 90 litres water, while 1 kg beef requires requires a huge amount of water - 15,500 litres! 2)
The effects of global warming have also accelerate the water crisis. The increasing temperature could melt the ice caps which is our storage of freshwater. The raising seawater can also contaminate the ground freshwater. The hotter temperature has triggered long drought in some countries, drying up the water sources and this water shortage has even led to famine, deaths and war. The recent long drought in California has caused forest fires and severe water shortages.
Poor water management in many developing countries also worsen the water scarcity. In those countries, millions of women and children are even already walked hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources.
884 million people on Earth lack access to safe water supplies, approximately one in eight people.
UNICEF / WHO
Water crisis is likely to spread in wider area, therefore water conservation program is obviously an urgent action to be taken by all of us.
What You Can Do
Sending water from its source to your water tap requires a lot of energy to process the extraction, importing water in some states, conveyance, storage and treatment, distribution, on-site pumping, heating or cooling etc. which according to the Natural Resource Defense Council, take up to 19% of state’s electricity use in California. Due the further global warming effect, water scarcity is predicted to be worsen and this will require more energy to manage.
If you are the lucky one who can merrily access clean, healthy, potable freshwater from your home, think of trying to avoid the water crisis become widen in the future. Do the home water conservation program.
An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the typical person living in a developing country slum uses in a whole day.
Except conserving the precious scarce natural source, saving water means also saving energy too. So actually by cutting down your water consumption, you are also cutting down the CO2 tossed to the atmosphere.
You can help saving the Earth’s water conservation from your :
3. Laundry Room
5. Car Washing.