Conservation Efforts: Why Should We Save Water?
Reasons for conservation and why we should care about saving water
Since 71% of the earth is covered in water, most people can't help but wonder — Why should we conserve?
What we know about the bodies of water on this planet boils down to the following:
- 97% of all the water on the earth is salt water, which is not suitable for drinking.
- Only 3% of all the water is fresh water, and only 1% is available for drinking.
- 2% of the available freshwater sources is locked in ice caps and glaciers.
With growing population rates and such a small percentage of all the water on earth, it only makes sense that we must preserve and conserve this precious resource.
Water conservation means using our limited water supply wisely and caring for it properly. Since each of us depends on water to sustain life, it is our responsibility to learn more about water conservation and how we can help keep our sources pure and safe for generations to come.
Water Conservation: Why Save?
Our usable water supply is finite (we do not have an endless supply) which means that water conservation is not a job that is reserved solely for technicians, soil scientists, hydrologists, foresters, wildlife managers, plant scientists, city planners, park managers, farmers, ranchers, or mine owners — instead it is up to each and every one of us to save water. Some of the reasons we should work to conserve water include:
Conserving water minimizes the effects of drought and water shortages. By reducing the amount of water we use and waste, we can better help against future drought years. Even though our need for fresh water sources is always increasing (because of population and industry growth), the supply we have stays constant. This is due to the fact that even though water eventually returns to Earth through the water cycle, it's not always returned to the same spot, or in the same quantity and quality.
Guards against rising costs and political conflict. Failing to conserve water can eventually lead to a lack of an adequate, healthy water supply, which can have drastic consequences in rising costs, reduced food supplies, health hazards and political conflict.
Helps to preserve our environment. Reducing our use of water reduces the energy required to process and deliver it to homes, business, farms, and communities, which in turn helps to reduce pollution and conserve fuel resources.
Is available in the future for recreational purposes. It's not just swimming pools, spas and golf courses that we have to think about. Much of our freshwater resources are also used for beautifying our surroundings -- watering lawns, trees, flower, and vegetable gardens, as well as washing cars and filling public fountains at parks. Failing to conserve water now can mean losing out on such fun and beautiful uses later on.
Builds safe and beautiful communities. Firefighters, hospitals, gas stations, street cleaners, health clubs, gyms, and restaurants all require large amounts of water to provide services to the community. Reducing our usage of water now means that these services can continue to be provided.
Water conservation requires forethought and effort, but every little bit helps, so don't think that what you do does not matter. We must all make changes in our lifestyles that will change the course of our water usage, conserve its quality and make conservation a way of life — not just something we think about once in a while.
Igor Shiklomanov's chapter "World fresh water resources" in Peter H. Gleick (editor), 1993, Water in Crisis: A Guide to the World's Fresh Water Resources (Oxford University Press, New York).