Recognizing the water crisis is a global concern is necessary to adequately address the problem. But, it can be intimidating and give community members the idea that the issue is too huge for any person to singly address. While there are organized groups dedicated to delivering relief from this crisis to developing countries, where it is greatly needed, there are also things each of us can do, every day, that will contribute to combating the global water crisis.
Part of the crisis is the concern about water shortage due to population growth and industrial advances. With only 1% of the earth’s water being fresh water, and the fact that we only have the water we started with—the amount doesn’t grow, we need to do what we can to preserve it. The average American uses around 1,800 gallons of water each day. If each of us made little efforts to conserve water, every day, it would make a big impact at a global level.
Technology has allowed for the design of water-efficient appliances that home owners can choose to reduce water usage, like low-flow shower heads and low flush toilets. There are also special irrigation systems that can be put in to lessen the amount of water being used for landscaping, such as gray water systems that use water waste from the house to water their yards and gardens.
Of course, not everyone is living in a home they own, and do not have the option to switch to these kinds of water-efficient devices, or cannot afford the expense of doing so. There are other practices individuals can adopt to decrease their daily water use that do not require budgeting for an extra expense. Being mindful of when your faucet is running is something we can encourage all household members to do. If someone is brushing their teeth, they can make sure to turn the water off when they are teeth brushing, and only turn on the water to rinse. Taking a shower instead of filling an entire tub up will use less water. Running dishwashers and washing machines only when they are completely full will help reduce wasting water. And, outside, you can set up a container to catch rainwater and use this for watering the yard and garden.
The global water crisis can seem intimidating, but each one of us can make a difference by choosing to implement one, or more, of these practices into our daily routines. All of our small efforts will combine to equal a much larger one.