Without Water we are dead in three to five days.
Water is life.
We are mostly made of water.
Can anything be more obvious?
Of all the water in the world only about 2% is ‘fresh,’ water. The rest is salt. Currently we use 70% of our fresh water for agriculture and that is going to increase to unsustainable levels within the next 50 years. Do you see it yet? We have a problem of extinction level proportions. If we don’t solve this one… WE all DIE!
The problem we are facing now is not that enough water exists it is where it exists. In our country we have a surfeit of water in the east and dangerously low water resources in the west. Our problem is that we grow the preponderance of our food in the west (another problem) so water distribution is a major issue that needs to be resolved. This is generally true for the rest of the world. Water is in short supply in some areas while there is an abundance in others. It is a distribution and logistics problem.
There are solutions both short term and long term but most require we first recognize the seriousness of the problem, educate the people, and find the collective will to address the issue in an appropriate and prioritized manner. This is a long and arduous process and we are not making progress down that road. Some solutions are:
Conservation – There are any number of ways we can reduce water use. Our problem is that we are unused to seeing the need and in general are wasteful of our water resources.
A few of these are recommended:
- More efficient water appliances
- Better use of water conserving landscape,
- Stormwater reclamation
- Water treatment
While there are isolated heroic efforts to conserve water in America (green roofs etc.) in general, there is no substantive policy or direction from our Government.
Desalinization – yes, we have the technology to take salt water from the oceans and convert it to fresh drinkable water. The Israelis have virtually ended their drought problems by building 4 or 6 large desalination plants along the coast and have made the dessert’s bloom – literally! BUT… this approach is very, very expensive in terms of energy. Also, Israel is a relatively small country. The United States however is huge and the costs would be horrific using present technology.
A Sustainable National Water Policy needs to be addressed and at the Federal Level.