Sustainable Argument

I’ve blogged several times about water conservation and usage. (Here, here, here, and here, for a few)

Word gets around (apparently) because someone asked me recently if I thought water down the drain was gone for good and not reusable.

Of course not, I replied.

Then why did I care how much water I used?

Here’s the best argument I have for why we (generally) ought to learn to use less water.

Even during this time of economic downturn, the world is developing at a pretty good clip.  Though more than a billion people still live on less than $2 a day, and a huge number do not have easy access to safe water, these numbers are decreasing.

I believe these numbers can, and should, continue to decrease, and that this doesn’t mean (necessarily) that the wealthy have to get less wealthy.

It does mean, however, that more of us will have to share a finite amount of fresh water.

If all 6 billion people on the planet had access to fresh water, would there be enough for all of them to use the same amount per day as you and I do?  I don’t think so.

If those of us who have plenty, and access to more wter than we could possibly need, would take the time to intentionally cut back on our waste, the finite amout of water we have would go farther as more and more people continue to gain reasonable access to it.

3 thoughts on “Sustainable Argument

  1. I’m finishing up a class on Urban Wildlife Management. There was a chapter on the water cycle. Basics are water gets clean enough for human usage in 3 natural ways:
    1) Plants absorb it from the ground and it ends up back in the atmosphere,
    2) Soil filters it and it ends up in an aquifer,
    3) It flows to bodies of water and ends up back in the atmosphere.

    We directly interfere with each of these processes when we:
    1) destroy plants or their natural habitat,
    2) cover the earth with unnatural surfaces or use water at greater than the natural rate of replacement,
    3) constrict natural waterways (dams, levees, etc.)
    These do not even address our pollution of the soil and the atmosphere, which is a whole other issue.

    In this way, we have upset the natural balance of the water cycle. Water does continue to flow through the cycle, but no longer in a natural distribution.

    So imagine that there was a flock of chickens that moved over the entire earth. If each person takes 1 egg per day as a chicken comes by, everybody in the world gets an egg every day. If we start to kill chickens or start to put them in pens, some people feast while others starve.

    (that may be one of the best analogies I’ve ever come up with)

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