As you may have noticed, for today’s Blog Action Day, we’re talking about water consumption and the limited availability of safe drinking water in many parts of the world. When I was a little girl growing up in a mid-sized city in a well-developed country, I was fortunate enough to be indoctrinated by my beloved Sesame Street that I should not waste water (water water water water water).
Did you know that you can waste about four gallons of water just by keeping the tap running while you brush your teeth? Four gallons. Think about how big a gallon jug of water is, how much room it might take up in your refrigerator. Now think about four of them. Imagine that instead of having it delivered to you cold and clean, you have to cart it by hand, drop by drop, from a more remote source, maybe a centrally located water pump or a nearby river.
Americans waste so much water without even thinking about it because many of us have such easy access to it. From drippy faucets and leaky toilets, to half-drunk glasses of water dumped down the drain because they’ve gotten lukewarm, we don’t worry about it because there’s the perception that there will always be more. But that’s not the case. Many states are already facing droughts, with much more serious water shortages projected in the next few decades. The time to start thinking about our water consumption is not when it’s all gone, but now.
Selena Macintosh posted some great tips for reducing your water footprint this morning. These are little things we can do to start changing our behavior before it’s too late. If one million people are able to reduce their water usage by even a gallon a day, that means one million gallons of water are saved. So talk to your friends and family members about their water consumption, and spread the word.