Water - Our Most Precious Resource
Water is vital to our survival, that is obvious, it is what life on earth is founded upon, without which there would be no life at all. Only a tiny proportion of all the water on the planet's surface is fresh and renewable in the water cycle. Over 97% of the world's water is seawater. Another 2% is in the form of glaciers and ice caps, leaving less than 0.75% of the world's supply of water that we use for agriculture, industry and nature and domestic use. We are over using our limited resources of fresh water, industry and agriculture demand more and more as do domestic homes and we are in a position now where we are actually using tomorrow's water today while at the same time over a billion people in the world do not have access to clean water at all.
Over 3 billion people worldwide have no access to essential sanitisation, over 4,800 people a year die from water borne diseases. In sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America this is becoming a total crisis. When we want a drink of water, we simply turn on the tap or open a bottle, in developing countries people (often children) have no taps, they have to walk an average of 3 hours a day to collect water from a swamp, pond or river that has been sitting out in the open air exposed to bacteria from many sources. Time spent gathering water is time they can't spend in education, earn an income or help take care of their families. Some women in Sub Saharan Africa spend more time collecting water than any other daily activity. The water they carry is often not at all clean, contaminated with sickness causing germs that they often are sick and die from.
We forget that we actually live in a hydrosphere and that all water is connected all over the world as it changes form and moves around the planet. We take our water for granted and waste it in the developed countries while in the developing countries people are dying from the lack of it. Such large amounts of fresh water are extracted from rivers, water tables and reservoirs to go into agriculture and industry, it is starting to take a measurable toll on the recorded annual water levels, where are we going to get more from?
There is nothing sustainable about our present levels of water consumption and the scary fact is we will simply run out of it in the future if we don't start using it more sensibly rather than treating it as an infinite resource it has to be regulated and used more wisely, people see it as a basic human right but that right is denied to billions of people while others use far more than their share in the never ending quest for increased profits, or just to earn a living. It is clear that the earth's natural resources and water being at the top of the list, are under tremendous pressure and that we can not continue on the present course as it is simply not sustainable. It is not fair or appropriate to simply "blame The water company" which has been what people have traditionally done in the past.