Think Ahead! The Importance of Water Preservation and Conservation

Every time you turn the faucet on water comes out. It’s a given, right? Well, for now at least. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. population has more than doubled over the past fifty years and its water consumption has more than tripled.  The depletion of water doesn’t just involve each of us and our way of life, it also involves agricultural, industrial, and municipal purposes. Unfortunately, the U.S. Geological Survey reports the consequence that the nation’s aquifers, or groundwater systems, are being sucked down at an accelerated rate.

But how does this affect you? Many people with wells are already feeling the effects, myself included. There are times when my family must conserve water to ensure that our well doesn’t get too low, especially if we haven’t had enough rain or snowfall throughout the year; those of you with wells may agree. And residents are not the only people feeling these effects: farmers, firefighters, other industries who rely on water, and others must conserve now more than ever with tightened water rights and restrictions.

However, water quantity isn’t our only issue. Water quality is on the decline as well, which in turn, further reduces the amount of usable water. The largest and most viable source of water in India, the Ganges River, is now polluted with over a billion gallons of raw sewage a day. This pollution doesn’t include the waste from paper, leather, brass, and sugar factories that are located along the river. Sadly, the Ganges is not alone in its abuse. Numerous other water ways around the world are also dangerously polluted: China’s Yangtze, Yellow, and Jian rivers, the United States own Mississippi River, Indonesia’s Citarum River, Brazil’s Tietê River, and the Philippines Pasig River are all contaminated despite years of efforts to clean them up.

On a more positive note, not all hope is lost! Each of us can make a difference every day doing simple things like turning the water off when brushing your teeth, waiting until early morning or late evening to water your lawn or garden once the temperature cools and can better absorb the water, using mulch around your plants to retain water, using a water collection barrel for watering plants, installing low flow shower heads and toilets, the tips go on and on. It isn't hard to imagine where this kind of decline in water quality and quantity will lead us in the future if it continues. If you would like to learn more about what you can do to conserve water supplies, please check out these links:

100 ways to Conserve Water

World’s Most Populated Rivers

USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

USGS (United States Geological Survey)

 

The ISF Environment Team wants to hear from you! Have questions or inspired by the article? Send us an email at: Environment@isfoundation.net to share your thoughts and comments.

 

Photo credit: Photo designed by CP Design

 

-Written by: Heather M.