Thursday, November 26, 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE: Do We Have a Water Crisis on Our Planet?

By Dave Bricks

To someone living in the Middle East, water is a precious commodity. To someone living in the United States, it is almost seen as an entitlement. We can see wars being fought in the future over water, just like they are now fought over oil. There may seem like an endless supply, but usable water is far different than the water in our oceans.

Global warming and the melting of the polar ice caps is elevating sea levels, some say, but this is salt water, and unless it undergoes desalination it is useless for most applications necessary for sustaining life. In the United States, there are efforts underway to conserve water.

There are systems which can take water which has been used for one purpose and make it usable for another, the so-called gray water. Sometimes this water can be used for irrigation, or in households it can be recycled and used for flushing toilets. Easier ways for us to conserve water are by getting low flow toilets and low flow shower heads. These use less water but still function the way they should. As time goes by, things which at first merely looked good on paper, but just didn't work that well, have gotten much better.

People aren't going to buy a low flow toilet if it doesn't flush that well! And water pressure is key for some people in their showers. Other simple things can be done to save water, like watering your lawn at certain times in the morning or evening to avoid the full impact of the suns rays. If you are washing your car, turn off that hose while you soap it up and scrub it! If you wash dishes in the sink and leave that faucet running, it is a total waste of water. If you have a leaky faucet, fix it or stick a bowl under it and catch that water, and use it for your plants!

We should think if the general population could see how much of an impact this wastefulness has, and if they could see people in other countries who don't have enough water, they would be more apt to try to conserve. Human beings everywhere need water to live, that's the plain and simple truth. The amount that is wasted is staggering. Unfortunately, its just another thing we take for granted.

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