How to Conserve Water Essay
What is water? It is life’s most basic need. Just as the ancient Greek philosopher, Thales, said: "Water is the divine source of all living beings”. We live on a blue planet where water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface. If there is so much water, then why should we save it?
The truth is that only 1% of all the water on this planet is fresh and renewed by the water cycle. More than 97% of the world’s water is too salty to drink. Another 2% is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. If you took all the water in the world and put it into a gallon jug, less than one teaspoon of it would be available to us.
But why is water so important? We all need it to sustain our lives, this is why. Humans, plants and animals, all need water for various purposes. We, as human beings, use this liquid for drinking, bathing, cooking, cleaning, washing… Water is also an important source of irrigation of crops in agriculture. Plants use water to make their own food, through the process of photosynthesis. Various aquatic animals like fish, blue whales, sea horses, etc., need water to live. Do you know that this essential liquid is also used for generating electricity? Yes, water is an important source of generating electricity using hydropower technology. Even your blood consists of 90% water. Many of the chemical reactions in your body, take place in H2O. Food that has been digested dissolves in water and then, this liquid carries the nutrients in it, to all the different parts of your body. Water also removes waste products from your body and cleanses them from within. Your body temperature is kept normal by sweating in hot weather to cool down. This would not be possible if there was no water in your body. Water is also important because it is the home of marine life. Oxygen and other substances that dissolve in H2O are important for the survival of all aquatic life, including plants and fish.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, there’s a global water crisis. We live at a time in history where over a billion people have no access to safe drinking water and over three billion people have no access to sanitation. 4800 human beings die every day from water-borne disease. In about 19 seconds, a mother loses one of her children to a water-related illness. It’s happening all over the world, especially in developing areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
The degradation of the quality of water, not only harms our aquatic ecosystems, but the pollutants also reach the groundwater, which might end up in our houses as contaminated water we use in our daily activities. Sometimes water pollution can occur due to natural phenomena, such as volcano eruptions, animal waste, algae blooms, and residue from storms and floods. Except for these factors, water pollution is caused by human activities. Everyday sewage and sometimes even garbage from cities are dumped into oceans resulting in polluting the water tremendously. Other factors that lead to pollution are oil spills, fossil fuel combustion, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides used by farmers. Once someone drinks this polluted water, it can lead to diseases such as hepatitis that can be fatal. Also, in many poor nations, there is always an outbreak of cholera and other infections due to contained H2O. This pollution is a threat to our whole existence. 5 to 10 million people die each year from water pollution-related illnesses.
Agriculture is something that we need to give thought to. 70% of all the water we extract from rivers, lakes, and aquifers go to irrigated agriculture. To some extent, we’re using some of tomorrow’s water to meet today’s food demands. We are abusing our water recourses in ways that are completely unsustainable and unless we think about it that way and start taking actions at an individual level, then I don't know how we’ll be able to overcome so many of the issues that we’re going to be faced within the next 50 years. We can't continue to take the most essential liquid on earth, ‘water’, for granted. This is our time in history to do something about it.
So, how can we save water? It’s really easy. We can save it by:
- Taking shorter showers;
- Making sure to turn off the running tap when not in use;
- Checking for any leakage occasionally;
- Making sure to always pick up our trash, especially when at the beach, lake, or river;
- Spreading awareness about it by discussing its effects with other people;
- Drinking recycled water.
Countries need to look beyond the status quo and implement country-level actions to save water. As more countries that used to be water-rich are becoming water-scarce, I say we don't need to ‘reinvent the wheel’. If we just look at what water-proof countries have done, the solutions are out there. Now it's really just all up to us to take action.
As they say, if there is magic on this earth, it is contained in water. Water is the driving force of all nature. It is one basic element needed to sustain life on Earth. We can survive up to several weeks without eating food, but only a few days without water. It is an essential source of livelihood and therefore, we must use it efficiently!