About 70 percent of the world is covered in water.
However, over 95 percent of that water is unfit for human consumption since it is salty.
Out of the remaining 5 percent, only 1 percent is available for consumption. Glaciers and ice caps account for the remaining percentage.
As the world’s population keeps on increasing, the water becomes scarcer. Therefore, it is only logical that we curb wastage and properly store whatever is left for future use.
In the olden days, before the industrial revolution began, water was only used for domestic purposes only.
Today, however, water is used for plenty of other reasons: mining, irrigation, industrial uses, aquaculture, thermoelectric power and for livestock.
This means the world is consuming billions of liters every day. In 2010, for example, the United States consumed over 1.3 million liters of water every day.
That said, a reduction in the amount of fresh water would negatively affect these sectors, and this would have a negative impact on the quality of life as well.
It is important to note that 70 percent of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture.
The world’s water resources have been dwindling away due to a number of factors.
The greatest contributing factor, however, is pollution caused by human activities.
Research shows that about 40 percent of lakes in the United States prohibit swimming and fishing because they are polluted.
Climate change, which is caused by burning fossil fuels, is also one of the major contributing factors. It has caused a tremendous reduction in rainfall, which is one of the major sources of fresh water.
Deforestation is also another major contributing factor that has led to the disappearance of the water catchment areas; hence, less water is stored in the ground.
Unless an immediate solution can be found to the highlighted problems, we have to make water preservation a top priority.
This means that we should use the limited water we have wisely and sparingly.
The work of conserving water cannot be left to soil scientists and technicians, foresters, wildlife managers, city planners, farmers and ranchers.
It should be our collective responsibility. Doing so would enable us:
1. Curb drought
Conserving water helps to ensure that there is enough water for use during the long dry seasons.
Investing in reservoirs and water tanks will ensure that we store water during the rainy seasons that can be used later.
2. Prevent the cost of living from going up
As mentioned earlier, different sectors in the economy require adequate fresh water supply for them to survive.
When there is inadequate water supply, the industries will lack a key raw material required to produce goods. Therefore, production will go down and the demand for the goods will go up.
The increase in demand will result in an increase in the price of commodities. This, in turn, will make life harder for many individuals.
In addition, inadequate water supply could cause health-related problems such as dehydration.
3. Ensuring continuity
For us to continue enjoying life, we need water.
An adequate supply of water will ensure that our fire stations, gyms, hospitals, restaurants, schools and gas stations, among others, are running.
Misusing water will only prevent us from having access to these services.
4. Preserve the environment
Conserving water helps maintain the water cycle. This means that we will not experience long, dry spells which will hinder vegetation and trees from growing.
Adequate forest cover is also important if we are to maintain an adequate supply of clean air.