From space the Earth is seen as a blue planet, because 70% of it is covered with water. However, 97.5% of all water on earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water. Of this 2.5%, nearly 70% is locked in ice at the North and South poles and another 30% is deep below the ground. Only 0.4% is accessible on the surface.
Water is a finite resource. There is debate in the scientific community as to whether the freshwater on earth came from comets, asteroids, or from water deep in the earth released by volcanoes, but we do know the amount we have is finite. The earth does not produce more water. The water molecules in our bodies today may have been in the bodies of dinosaurs, may have traveled down the Senegal River, or may have been in a cloud a week ago.
More than half of humanity will be living with water shortages within 50 years. Severe water shortages will affect 4 billion people by 2050.
Increased pollution is damaging ecosystem and the health, lives, and livelihoods of those without access to adequate, safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
Countries with the lowest fresh water availability per person (surface water and ground water) are Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahamas, Qatar, Maldives, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Malta, Singapore, and Jordan.
For many countries agriculture is the primary use of fresh water resources, whereas in the US the greatest percentage of fresh water is consumed for domestic, industrial, commercial, and other uses. Only small percentage of fresh water extracted is consumed through evaporation, transpiration, or incorporated into products or crops, the rest is used, treated, and discharged into bodies of water. Frequently this leads to pollution of their water ways through the introduction of bacteria, nitrogen, heavy metals, toxins, and other contaminants.
While the world population triples in the 20th century, the use of water resources has grown sixfold. This increase in water usage translates into increase operating and maintenance costs. It also means increased demand on the municipal infrastructure of water supply and waste treatment facilities, where they exist. To help mitigate the increasing demand of fresh water supplies, it is necessary to identify alternative sources and water‐saving technologies that can be readily implemented. (From OBO Green Guide)
To do your part in making our Earth green and making water resources last, you should reduce the amount of water you use daily:
- Turn off faucet while you brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving.
- Use low‐flow shower head or adjust the water flow so as to not waste water while showering.
- Use the correct amount of laundry detergent and water while washing your cloths. Putting too much powder demands more water to wash it. Set your washing machine to the corresponding load size.
- Use cloth to wipe clean your car first before cleaning it with water.
- Do not pollute our water resources such as rivers, streams, and lakes.
- Do not throw any litter (such as beer bottles/cans) into the ocean or river during a boat ride.
- Do not throw any trash or debris into the oceans, rivers or lakes if you reside nearby these areas.
- Beside tap water, find other alternative sources of water supplies. Try collecting rain water during the rainy season to use for watering plants and washing your car.