Why should we take care of the water?
When we talk about our planet, in comparison with the neighbors of the Solar System, we usually refer to it as the “blue planet”, because almost 70% of its surface is covered by water. In fact, it is the only world within our reach where this precious element occurs, at least in its liquid form, with such natural abundance. But does that mean that water is an endless resource?
Quite the opposite.
Water is an indispensable resource for life, at least as we understand it to this day. Not only because our bodies are largely made up of water, but because the first microorganisms arose in it and today the algae responsible for producing the greatest amount of oxygen that we breathe inhabit.
However, 97.2% of the water on the planet is salt water, such as that found in the seas and oceans, so that the fresh water available in lakes and rivers does not exceed 2.8%, adding the content in rivers and lakes (0.02%), groundwater (0.6%) and glaciers and eternal ice (2.2%). This means that, although the world is covered in water, it is not water that we can freely drink and use. And that is why proper water management is vital.
My kingdom for a glass of water
Every day, the human species uses about 3,600 km3 of fresh water per day, that is, about 1,600 liters of water per inhabitant every day. Of this total, it is estimated that half is wasted, is allowed to evaporate or is returned to the environment in some way, while the rest is destined for domestic (10%), industrial (25%) or agricultural (65%) use. And these waters, after being used in our homes, our factories or in the irrigation of our crops, are no longer suitable for our consumption, so they are dumped into the ecosystem full of polluting substances and additions, which are dealt with by the nature, if you can.
At the same time, 3 out of 10 people in the world lack access to drinking water, a figure that, given the current rate of water waste in the world, could rise to 50% of the human population by 2050. And if we consider that where water is scarce it is impossible to develop agriculture, the nutritional perspective will not be very good for a large part of the species in the future.
The mere fact of turning on the tap in our kitchen and having drinking water is, whether we like it or not, a privilege. And this implies that we must be as responsible as possible regarding the use of this precious liquid.
How can we take care of the water?
Protecting water is not an easy task and requires a lot of ecological awareness on our part, but also a lot of activism so that the institutions monitor the use of water by large corporations and large growers, since they are the ones who use it the most and are older. dividends obtained from their use. However, there are many things that citizens can do to contribute our bit:
- Solve water losses at home, in pipes, taps and any type of facilities. This, in addition, will save us money on a monthly basis.
- Do not let the water run freely during tooth brushing, dishwashing or hand washing, and try to take shorter showers (5 minutes is enough).
- Use buckets of water and not the hose when washing cars or the floor at the entrance to our houses. We must treat water with the value that it really has, not as if it were something endless and free.
- Educate future generations to understand the fair value of water and to abandon wasteful practices.
- Support neighborhood, national or international initiatives to save water, clean water and recycle wastewater. And demand from our governments concrete measures for the care of water.
- Choose local and seasonal foods, to make the international agricultural and livestock business less profitable, which is the largest consumer of water in the world. 170 thousand liters of water are required to produce just 300 grams of processed chicken.
- Destine used cooking oil, brake fluid, antifreeze and phosphate detergents to a recycling plant or some sustainable destination, as these substances go to seas and rivers where they produce gigantic margins of water pollution. You can also, as a consumer, bet on biodegradable and ecological products.
- Install purifiers and / or filters at home and drink tap water, so as not to buy bottled water. This will not only save you money in the long run, but also water: to make a 1-liter bottle of mineral water, there are 5 liters of water that are consumed, among other things, in the cooling system of the bottling plants.
Together we can make a difference. Water is the most valuable natural resource on the planet.
- “Tips for taking care of water” in Fundación Aquae.
- “Water care” in Aguas Bonaerenses (Argentina).
- “How can we take care of the water?” in Diario Uno (Argentina).
- “Five tips to take care of water” in GreenPeace Mexico.
- “Half the world, without drinking water in 2050” in iagua (Spain).