Imagine the world as the size of your grade school classroom, and in that classroom is a tiny pebble. This tiny pebble is larger than the total available fresh water in the world, which is about 0.4%. This is the only portion of the water that is not underground or barred by glaciers. This tiny pebble is what all of us are surviving and thriving on.
What role does this 0.4% fresh water play? Well, aside from satisfying our thirst, it provides us with irrigation and waters our crops, it keeps us healthy and free of disease, and it supplies us with a massive source of electricity. The world’s lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams hold so much life than we can realize, providing a home for nearly 120,000 species. Sadly, our fresh waters are in serious danger.
Some Very Vital Details About Water
Water is necessary for the survival of all living things. That means we all suffer when water suffers. Here are some facts to consider:
- Approximately 6000 children die from water-borne diseases every day.
- More than 780 million people have no access to clean, healthy water, and nearly 2.5 billion lack sufficient sanitation. And what’s worse is that these values might double in the next 20 years.
- In China, there are 7 out of 10 rivers that are gravely polluted. In America, on the other hand, 40% of the major streams and rivers are not feasible for swimming and fishing because of too much pollution.
- There is about 70% of fresh water around California, Australia, and Africa that are overused due to droughts.
- The deterioration of fresh waters has caused the collapse of many types of fish, including salmon, which has dramatically impacted the livelihood of fishermen around the world.
All these circumstances and more are experienced first, and toughest, by the world’s most deprived. The rich can afford to buy bottled water or relocate to better places – but what about the rest?
3 Profound Steps To Save Water
Clearly, the challenge is quite huge, but there is nowhere else to go and nothing else to do but take this challenge to survive, rise up, and meet it.
Here are the three steps – solutions that we can each start doing, in the hopes of helping our world survive.
- Understand Water. We do need to manage water, but first we must need to understand it – comprehend where it is coming from.
All freshwater flows above and under lands and passes through streams, rivers, and lakes. Finally, it all meets in the oceans. Also, it is a known fact that rain plays a vital role in the growth and blossoming of plants and flowers. But there’s something you didn’t know that you must understand and remember: the world’s fresh waters are in trouble, and if not saved, they will eventually dry up and cease to exist.
There has been a massive amount of marine and freshwater species that got lost to extinction in the last 20 years. Every country in the world has lost its major rivers. The freshwater ecosystems are now susceptible to the worst changes – if we don’t understand what is happening to them.
We need to profoundly learn about where our waters are at recently – their state and what we can do to salvage these ecosystems.
- Manage Water. As people continue to grow in number, the standard of living also increases, as do the demands for food and other services. All this progress increases pressure on our water supplies, and water will now move faster and in more complicated ways. For this to work, water should be managed at a larger scale.
In small countries like Cambodia, rice and fish are the people’s staple food, and both need to be cleaned by fresh water. However, due to the explosion of the hydropower and agricultural development, Cambodia’s water systems are now in a destabilized state. Being one of the largest sources of rice and fish, the Greater Mekong, along with other major organizations, must work together to ensure that as progress and development are inevitable, the damage on the human and water ecosystems is not destroyed for good.
- Value Water. In most, if not all, countries, clean water is among the cheapest commodities, yet it is very important, very precious, and terribly endangered. In impoverished countries, people are fighting to get in line for clean water, yet it can be bought for cents and even wasted by others who don’t know anything at all about conservation.
Fortunately, advocates for water conservation are now coming together to promote policies on payment for ecosystem services (PES). They are also creating rewards and incentives for those who would join them in keeping the rivers, streams, and lakes clean. This is one great way of instilling the value of water to all people – young and old.
Water extinction is real. And the solutions for keeping this alive can only be made possible by working together. Let’s all play a role.