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Supply and Demand: Water Conservation Is Everyone’s Problem

We live in the age of autopilot. Our bodies know a routine controlled by our brain’s propensity to stick to pattern. On one hand, this autopilot mode can be beneficial to time management, happiness, and security. Often times though, it’s our automatic nature that prevents our own development and inhibits us from correcting our mistakes.

The water crisis we face today can in large part be attributed to our negligence and lack of awareness regarding the consequences of over consumption. Exponential population growth and urbanization are also key factors in the global water shortage but these are both elements that can be worked around.

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Single water droplet. Image via Flickr user Isolino.

780 million people lack access to clean water. That’s more than 2.5 times the United States population.

-WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation

Many of us in Western society haven’t felt as though it’s our responsibility to conserve water. Some of the reasons for this “not my problem” attitude include:

  • You live near a body of water
  • It rains often where you live
  • The mountains in your region provide enough water
  • You turn on the tap and water comes out!

Climate change and rapid expansion are causing major concerns for dry climates which rely on aquifers that are beginning to dry up. Resource-rich regions like Canada have abundant access to fresh and clean water, rarely causing any worry to the average person. But water is essential to life and having a safe, reliable water supply is crucial for the continued growth and prosperity of our planet.

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Water scarcity concern for environmental sustainability. Image via The Water Project.

 “When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”

-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

It’s time our world start placing higher value on this precious resource if we want to continue to live healthy, productive lives. Promoting the consequences of not having a water supply is perhaps the best way to reinforce the necessity of conservation. Without water we cannot:

  • Grow our food
  • Raise livestock
  • Cook our meals
  • Support basic healthy survival
  • Flush our toilets
  • Maintain our personal hygiene
  • Flick on a light switch (for many of us on hydro-electricity)
  • Support the function of our major cities

Through increased awareness, the average person can begin to make small shifts to minimize their water consumption and implement systems like rainwater harvesting, to save the water they currently have access to.

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Agricultural irrigation and water consumption. Image via Climate Tech Wiki.

70% of global water withdrawals come from consumption through traditional agriculture practices.

-UN Water for Food Facts

To be sure, the global water crisis is not something that affects only underdeveloped nations. In fact, a limited water supply is everyone’s problem. According to the U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment of Global Water Security, global demand for water will exceed its supply by 40 percent by 2030. The summer droughts many of us experience is only the beginning of the undesirable situations we will face. The need for change is a requirement of today. Please share this information with others in your community. We encourage you to write to us with your water conservation tips and advice so that we can all benefit from the information.

Visit Charity:Water to learn more about how you can help provide clean, safe water to everyone on the planet.

About The Author

PowerHouse Growers
PowerHouse Growers teaches you how to sustainably integrate urban agriculture into your cities, businesses, and homes. We provide clear solutions and benefits for better health, increased productivity, and lower environmental impact. By connecting you with experts, we bring awareness to solutions that may not be top of mind.