Why we need to conserve water: The introduction

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.

  • enviroboy15

    im glad that the people on this site are conserving water and trying to get people to save and conserve our most precious and valued resource, but quite frankly(and im not being pessimistic here), we as a human race have gone far beyond being able to save our planet by conserving what little water we posess. its right, conserving water does help, but not enough. if we wanted to save our earth this way, we would have to have begun before even the industrial revolution! (around 1750ad)

    As a climate on this earth, we walk a very fine line between extinction and survival, it is a balance of the minutest scales that we inhabit, and we seem to have started a chain reaction which we cannot finish... drought and ice age following is immenent. its all a matter of time.

  • Kate

    I've never thought about it like this. Now I'm scared that my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren will go without water because I wasted it. I feel very very bad. So just remember to CONSERVE WATER!!!!!

  • Ma


    I think that you are right, there are many easy ways to canserve water.
    It is becoming such a great deal to our planet and all of us and if we don't stop it soon it will finish, and everyone wil realise how important it is and how they wasted it.

  • Em

    I think it's very important to conserve water not only because people are wasting it, it's because there are ways to conserve water which are very simple! One of the ways we can conserve water is just taking a shorter shower not flushing the toilet so much! Why are we using clean water in our toilets when it will get dirty anyway? Most of the water that is used is from flushing toilet, washing dishes and also taking showers! I really think something should be done about this and it will have to take more than one person!

  • Toni

    I can't belive how much drinkeble water we have to drink: 0.03%!

  • annelot

    Let me tell you a little bit about our water that we are wasting. An avarage person actually uses 70 gallons a day. This is shocking because our bodies requires a lot of water and we only have .03% of fresh water on our earths surface. This is kind of freaky if you think about it we might just lose our water on earth. SO WAKE UP check your house maybe there is a leak or the tap is still running. Conserve water here are a few suggestions: short showers, check if your clothes are really dirty and then wash it. take my advice and save the world and our water.

  • julia

    All of you are right! We need to save this Earth and conserve our water. You don't want your great-grandchildren and their children to suffer just because you left the tap on when you were brushing your teeth, do you? It is up to everyone of us to help this planet! Although it may seem like we have a lot of water, only 0.03% of that water is available for us to drink! Of course, you may not believe me but that is only because you are to stubborn to face facts. IT IS SO UP TO EVERYONE OF US TO HELP THIS PLANET!!!! I can not emphacize that enough, so HELP THIS EARTH!!!!!!!!!

  • Joy

    Hi, i think its really important that we should all work together and conserve water, i mean, it's not something to be ignored, if your school has the tap that does not stop flowing and u can't even stop it, tell it to the principal.
    Explain that, even if you made all these posters, what's the use?Im totally annoyed the way ppl just switch on the tap and leave it on brushing their teeth. Speaking as a high school student does not mean it has to be ignored.COME ON PPL, THIS IS OUR WORLD, PUT YOUR HEADS TOGETHER!THIS IS OUR PLANET!

  • Mollie


    Oh good. I am so glad that you are excited about this and that you are going to work on conserving water. Thanks for commenting. It was great to hear from you.


  • parul goel

    i m very happy by reading all these comments as it shows that there are many who really concern for our environment and by reading this information that we should conserve water as it is really necessary and one can really make the difference am looking forward to reading more about conserving water. i will try my best to conserve water

  • Saskia

    i am looking forward to reading more about conserving water. i will try my best to conserve water and tell my family about it too. i also wanted to know reasons we should save water, and after i did i was kind of scared about all the water we are wasting. these are critical circumstances because if the world runs out of water we will all die and i really dont want this to happen. i read a book that said we might eventually be paid in water, this really scares me... i need to know more about how i can save water.

  • audrey

    i like what your doing

  • gonzalo

    i wish i cold meet more people like you and beause of you i know what to do so keep going!

  • audrey

    thanks for this information. it was very helpful. i will now take shorter showers and not waste so much tapwater. please start conserving water now or or great-grandchildren will be without the amount of water we have now.

  • Joshua

    Hi, I'm from an international school and this is very important. We should conserve water because-
    1. The more water goes down the drain, the more people work at the wastewater treatment plant.
    2. When you waste drinkable water, the less water we survive on.
    3. We only have about .03% of drinkable/fresh water on earth, not in a country.
    4. Your killing the invirerment with this wasting problem.

  • Sophie

    I thought this information was very helpful. I will try to conserve water but it might take lots of change. I think that if we dont start conserving water everybody will be standing out on their street waiting with buckets for it to rain. People should start turning off their taps and checking for leaks because i think altogether that is whats waisting most of our potable water.

  • jonathan

    i think it is good

  • Melle

    I think this is very useful information. It's important for the world to know what we are doing with the potable water that we have. I only just realized now that our world doesn't have that much water as we thought it did. What will happen in the future when all the water has been used? We should really be more careful with what we have while we have it. I take way too much time in the shower, brushing my teeth. Now I will take a serios step towards water. This subject only bacame aware of this during my science class, three days ago. This will really become an effort for me to find more information about this subject. Scince I am 12 years old, I can start now to make a difference. I will try my hardest and recommend this website to other people conserned or not conserned about this problem we face in the world.

  • Manouk

    well I think this is great information.
    the reason I think we need to save water is because after we have used it it is not potable any more because some people do filter it or clean it but this costs a lot of money. so most people dont use this to clean water very few do. But people still think that magically water will get cleaned and is send back for us to use but thats not the way it works. I know some people make the mistake of exidentaly leaving the tap on or while adding soap not turning of the shower even I make those mistakes. but I would just like to say that people should check if they have turned off the tap before they leave the bathroom or shower.
    i would just like to add that I am a 6th grader from an international school.

  • Joshua Jordan

    I knew we had to conserve water. I just never knew why. For some reason my parents wouldn't tell me...Isn't that weird?

  • Hi,

    that's great information. i need to know more about how i can save water.

  • In the past century water policies relied on the construction of massive dams and pipelines. While investment in these facilities can increase the freshwater supply and provide water for billions of people the construction of dams have serious social, economical, and ecological costs. Some implications of the use of dams are modification of the water quality, increased waterborne parasitic diseases, and reduction of fish yields downstream. Another issue is that people need to be replaced, to build new dams. Also dams are build where animal used to live and trees used to thrive. Dams could fail which may result in flooding and destruction of property and people. “More than half of the world’s large rivers are fragmented and regulated by dams, including all the largest and the most biologically diverse rivers,â€? according to new research from the University of Umea in Sweden and the Nature Conservancy in the United States. Many water problems occur with the development of dams, and present approaches may not be sufficient in the future.

    One way to save our fresh water is the utilization of rainwater harvesting. Water harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater that falls on our property and storing it in water tanks for future use. We can use rainwater to irrigate flowers, trees, lawns and other landscaping. Also rainwater could be used by people that like to wash their cars in their yards. People can substantially lower their water bills, and at the same time help reduce local flooding by introducing rainwater harvesting in their homes. In urban areas harvested rainwater can provide supplemental water and be used for flushing toilets and washing laundry. It can also be used for showering or bathing. However, it may require treatment before using it for drinking. Various methods may be used for retaining rainwater for future use. One common method sends the initial water flow to waste. The first few gallons are thrown away to ensure that the dust and other deposits on the collecting surface as well as any initial airborne pollutants from the sky do not end up in the water tank. A typical household can expect to save around 50% of their main water needs by using rainwater harvesting system. While, the system requires an initial investment, it will save you money in the long run.

    There are many ways that we can cut the use of water at our homes. More tips on how to save water can be found http://water.totev.com/

  • Gina

    i think this is a great issue to focus on - i look forward to reading and learning more!

  • Marivella

    Like Ariah said, it's the "abstract" that is easy to ignore - while I am here, in my comfortable consumptive lifestyle, it's easy to forget that I am directly related to those who struggle with this everyday, and that my actions have consequences. Most of my experience in this area has to do with "the inaccurate belief that everyone in the world has access to some source of clean water." I feel like I have a strong understanding (and immediate experience with) the enormity of a community living without clean water, but I can't seem to relate it to my own lifestyle. I'm looking forward to these posts Mollie, I hope they're challenging!

  • This is a great idea. I think one of the main reasons people don't care about environmental issues is they are far off abstract ideas rather then concrete issues to address.
    I'm looking forward to these post about water and the interesting ideas you'll bring to the table.

  • Looking forward to it!

  • Julie

    I want to know more. I am a person who takes too long of a shower and just this morning remembered that I want to get a timer to put in the bathroom so that I will be more careful. I don't want my grandchildren to go without water because I wasted!

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