Water – the global picture

Nov 10, 2021

Only 3% of the world’s water is fresh water: which we use to drink, bathe, and irrigate our farm fields is incredibly rare because two-thirds of that is tucked away in frozen glaciers or otherwise unavailable for our use. As a result, some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year. Inadequate sanitation is also a problem for 2.4 billion people—they are exposed to diseases, such as cholera and typhoid fever, and other water-borne illnesses. Two million people—mostly children—die each year from water-borne, diarrheal diseases alone.

Many of the water systems that keep ecosystems thriving and feed a growing human population have become stressed. Rivers, lakes and aquifers are drying up or becoming too polluted to use. More than half the world’s wetlands have disappeared. Agriculture consumes more water than any other source and wastes much of that through inefficiencies. Climate change is altering patterns of weather and water around the world, causing shortages and droughts in some areas and floods in others.

At the current consumption rate, this situation will only get worse. By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages, and ecosystems around the world will suffer even more. www.worldwildlife.org/threats/water-scarcity

Here are just some of the ways to conserve fresh water:

  • Bring a water bottle.
  • Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth.
  • Turn off the faucet when soaping your hands.
  • Take care of that leaky spigot/faucet
  • Replace the old, damaged garden hose.
  • Buy used clothing (it takes a lot of water to make a new garment)
  • Add a brick in the toilet’s water tank (or replace the toilet if affordable).
  • Use ‘gray’ water for gardening and in-door plants.