Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Water of Life

Yesterday I posted some Earth Day facts which included some facts about water. One of those facts is that the Earth is composed of 2/3 water but only one hundredth of one percent is fresh water. So what does this mean to us?

Water is essential to our survival. We can go about a week without food but we can only survive three days without water. We drink it, cook with it, and bath in it. Water is an intricate part to our quality of life. Without clean water we face numerous health and sanitation issues. So why do we misuse our water resources so badly?

There are numerous things that we need to be concerned about getting into the water table and contaminating our water supply. The majority of these dangers come from us, not terrorists. So we need to be more aware of not only how we dispose of toxic substances such as oil and paint but also what chemicals are being sent through our treatment systems from soaps, shampoos, and cleaners.

Believe it or not there are several things that we can do to help conserve the fresh water that we have available to us. One of the biggest things that can be done is to set up a rain water catchment system. It can require a significant investment of money if you plan on having large holding tanks but it can also be as simple as having a couple of rain barrels sitting beneath your gutters downspout. With a smaller system, enough water can be collected to water your yard or garden for a few days depending on how much you need. With a larger system the water could also be used within the home as well as outside. Depending on what your goals are a filtration system may also be needed for household use.

If collecting rain water is not an option for you, there are things you can do within your home that can help conserve water and in turn decrease your water bill. Aerators can be placed on your sinks to limit the amount of water that is coming through but give you the same amount of pressure. If you don't feel like replacing your toilet just because it's getting a little old, place a brick or a bag filled with air in the tank. This will displace water so the tank is actually not holding as much water therefore you use less with each flush. Installing a low flow shower head will also reduce the amount of water that is being used.

Water is a critical resource that we cannot afford to lose. If we are not careful the lack of fresh water will be the next global crisis. So look around and take those small steps that can make a big difference.

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