Whenever you look at environmental documents aimed at letting people know what they can do to help save the planet it always includes a list on “ways you can conserve water”. I see these lists everywhere; most of them say the same things and they are really good ways to save water. However, none of them tell me WHY I should save water. I am wired in such a way (my husband, brother, and basically everyone that knows me would call it stubbornness) that I can’t (and won’t) do something unless I think there is a good reason behind it.
Well, it turns out there are good reasons to conserve water. This is a complex subject because of its many facets, but it is all very important to know. I will try to organize it the best I can. I have heard some people refer to potable water as the next vanishing commodity. There is always the same amount of water on earth and it comes in one of the following states: liquid, ice, or gas. While it is true that the actual amount of water never changes; the amount of potable water is steadily declining. Potable water is defined as water which can safely be ingested by human beings. Here in the United States, for the most part, the municipal water which readily flows forth from our faucets is potable water. We use this water not only to drink, but also for washing our dishes, our hands, showering, watering our plants, filling water balloons, etc. This abundance of potable water in many ways has lead to a false sense of security for a couple of reasons. First, there is a general mentality that we can polute water as much as we want because we have come to believe in these, almost magical machines, that will “filter” all contaminants. It also contributes to the inaccurate belief that everyone in the world has access to some source of clean water.
Because there is so much information, I’m writing a series of posts to talk about these issues. I hope to look into the problem and also offer some ideas for how we can all positively affect the current worldwide water situation.