The supply of freshwater in the world is running out and running out fast! (1)
Less than 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh, with most of it trapped underground or in ice and glaciers. That only leaves less than 1% accessible for drinking and supporting life as we know it. Fresh water is finite yet we continue to waste it not knowing that we are dooming ourselves to a catastrophic crisis. (2)
Many of the world’s rivers are running dry including the major ones such as Yellow River in China which had never failed to drain into the sea until 1972. Even glaciers that contain untapped fresh water are slowly disappearing due to increased global temperatures. Due to the disappearing surface water, we have quickly turned to underground water which is also getting depleted from over-pumping.
With the ever-approaching threat of exhausting the world’s supply of fresh water, we need to find ways to conserve the little amount we have at our disposal. Below are some of the ways we can conserve our fresh water supply:
Use less water for irrigation
70% of freshwater is used for irrigation. You can reduce the amount of water you use to irrigate your plants by implementing methods such as drip irrigation. It’s still as effective as other methods of irrigation but uses less water. Another measure you can take is to position your sprinklers to water only the lawn as opposed to the driveway or sidewalk.
Water that has already been used can be treated and used again. For example, raw sewage is often put through treatment and used for irrigation. At home, you install a greywater system to filter water from the sink and shower and directing it to your garden or to flush the toilet.
Repair leaking pipes and taps
A tap may only have a minor leak but in the long run, it loses lots of water. Therefore, do not make a mistake of dismissing any leaks.
Use technology that conserves water
Today, technological innovation has gone as far as inventing water-efficient showers and toilets to conserve water. A good instance is the dual toilet that has two options of a light flush for liquid waste and a normal flush for solid waste.
Rainwater is pretty much fresh water at absolutely no cost. (3)
Take advantage of this and build gutters at the edge of your roof that direct rainwater to barrels for storage. Rainwater is suitable for drinking as it’s fresh unlike water from underground that may be a bit salty due to minerals.
Trees make up half of the rain cycle. They absorb water and release it into the atmosphere. It is therefore important to preserve the trees already in existence and plant where none exist. Where trees are, water is.
It’s a great pity when the very same sources that provide us with water are the same places we dump our waste. (4)
Rivers are often polluted by industrial and agricultural chemicals making it impossible for people and animals to use their water. Water sources that have already been polluted should be cleaned up and the government should impose strict policies against water pollution.