Water = Life - We must conserve what is finite!!
Water represents life. This also means that wherever there is water, there is also conflict. Water has spurred some of the greatest conflict known to man. The politics of water are quite immense and extremely difficult to settle on because the question of, "who gets what" has several answers, and these answers differ for everyone involved. Farmers say, well need the water for our harvest which feeds our families and countless of people across the globe, while industrial companies say they need the water just as much for manufacturing and cooling purposes driving our economy.
There are always two ends of the spectrum and polar opposites is what spurs such drastic conflict regarding the geopolitical actions surrounding water. Water politics is nothing new; it has been around since humans first began to inhabit the Earth. Water rights has sort of been this gray area where solutions remain indefinite due to its multilayered dimensions. What isn't new, however, is the fact that water is a finite resource. Water can actually be recycled through geological processes, but this doesn't mean there will always be water, especially at the rate we consume it. Another massive concern jeopardizing future water allocation is the current state of our population, which continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.
Image derived from Pixabay
Water output (human consumption, irrigation and agriculture, industrial usage, etc.) far exceeds water input (precipitation, recycled water, groundwater discharge, etc.). In other words, we are using far more water than what we are provided. In some places, water must be allocated on a strict budget in order to live on a daily basis. In the US, the High Plains Aquifer is slowly running out of water to support agricultural demand. The water level is so low, it's like sipping from a straw at the tail end of your scrumptious morning OJ.
What to do when the water has completely run out?
We obviously can't rely on rainfall to support crop yield, so we must be actively engaged in conserving this precious resource altogether. It all starts with a knowledge and understanding that water is depleting in the first place. Many people probably don't even know this to be true, so educational awareness is the first step toward conserving water.
Water is already scarce as it is, and even so, it is often times wasted along transport chain and across sectors due to wide range of factors such as inefficient water processes (leakage & evaporation), a lack of- or low-quality- infrastructure as well as mismanagement and governance issues concerning water allotment. These inefficiencies must be readily addressed at a national level in order to reach sustainability efforts and goals set forth.
Water is used wastefully and inefficiently across sectors, not just agriculturally, thus intersectoral coordination must be enhanced to better meet needs. There is a dire need for supply and demand of water management to help promote the use of all available resources and to recycle what we can. There must also be a behavior change among everyone, not just producers and consumers.
Here are a few things you can do to help conserve water:
- Take shorter showers
- Turn your water pressure down
- Set a timer for yourself on water usage
- Turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving
- Collect rainwater and use this water for yard work and watering plants
- Buy water-efficient products
- Simply be conscious!!!