World Water Day – time for action

Most of us here are blogging from the comfort of first world countries. We have tap water, clean, abundant. When we’re thirsty, we drink. When we’re dirty, we wash. But for 25% of the world’s population, this is not the case. By some estimates in less than 5 years two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages. And ecosystems around the world will suffer even more.

These are worrying facts. While on the global level there is currently a conference to work on the water and sanitation crisis on the level of national governments and stakeholders but we, as individuals need to put pressure on them as well as take actions on our own. Here are some I’ve collected:

Support sustainable agriculture and water management

Agriculture uses 70% of the world’s accessible freshwater but in a wasteful manner. 60% is lost through bad irrigation or growing plants that are not native to the region, needing more water than normal.

What can you do?

  • Buy local, seasonal food and look for products made with less water.
  • Go to Farmer’s Market to get your produce.
  • Check the origin if you buy it in the supermarket.

Water pollution

Water pollution comes from many sources including pesticides and fertilizers that wash away from farms, untreated human wastewater, and industrial waste.

What can you do?

  • Don’t put food waste, oils, medicines and chemicals down my toilet or drains.
  • Fix leaking water and waste pipes, empty full septic tanks and report dumping of sludge.
  • Check how your local treatment plant manages waste.

Use less water

Private water usage can directly influence both pollution and energy usage. And it’s not just about turning your tap off.

What can you do?

  • Shop sustainably. A typical pair of jeans takes 10,000 litres of water to produce, equal to what a person drinks in 10 years. 
  • Turn off devices not in use. Currently, 90% of power generation is water intensive, so saving energy means saving water.
  • Choose a plant-based meal. It typically takes between 3,000 and 5,000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of rice, 2,000 litres for 1kg of soy, 900 litres for 1kg of wheat and 500 litres for 1kg of potatoes.

Put pressure on public and private organisations

While it’s important for all of us to take action, we also need to make sure that big consumers play their part.

What can you do?

Educate yourself

We all know knowledge is power and knowing where we can make a difference has the biggest impact.

What can you do?

Don’t complicate things though. Simple steps work. Less direct water usage is always the easiest approach.

This is Day 8 in the #100daysOfThoseDays. The series was started by Christine and Gloria and uses the “National/Global Something” of a particular day as the basis of the post. You can choose your own, and posting doesn’t have to consecutive.

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