Updated: Feb 26
When the word sustainability comes to mind, one would probably think toward basic ideas, such as the environment or energy consumption, but people tend to miss some elements that are more essential in our daily lives; these elements are of great importance for the upcoming generations survival. One of these vital elements is water, the most important element for all shapes of life. While water forms around 71% of Earth’s surface, fresh water, which is used in drinking, cooking, agriculture and even industry, forms only 3%. Although water is unexpendable for survival, billions of people around the world are already suffering from the lack of access to clean fresh water, making their survival a tough task. Imagine waking up in the morning with your only concern being how you will survive through the day, and how much you will have to travel to obtain water for drinking, cooking, bathing or planting. That is what comes in mind to these people every morning. Consider Africa, for example: despite having several major rivers, including the longest in the world, and uncountable resources, a huge percentage of its population suffer from water shortage. If that is the case nowadays, how will it be in several years?
One of the main reasons behind this crisis is the excess unjustified consumption of water. For instance, the average person consumes around 35 to 50 gallons (132 to 189 liters) while showering. Of course, one’s personal hygiene is a must, but the numbers just seem a bit excessive. Another example is a toilet flush, which uses around 1.3 gallons (5 liters) everytime. Also, an inordinate amount of water used in agriculture, is wasted because old techniques are used. In addition to these, other factors contribute to the global water shortage crisis. However, the effect could be slowed down using simple techniques.
For the water used in drinking or cooking, the consumption, obviously, is not to be reduced. Instead, we could try manipulating the consumption in cleaning or agriculture. When people are in need, their brains develop techniques in order to survive by any means, so they basically conserve their consumption. These people use water intelligently, as they know they have limited access to it. For example, the water used in bathing or cleaning is reused in flushing the toilet, and if the water is clean enough, it can even be used in planting. As for agriculture, there are electronic smart systems that are implemented in order to distribute the water smartly, which waste little to no water.
The thought of conserving our water consumption today while we can, simply by opening the water tap to a reasonable level or using less water while cleaning when chemicals can be used instead, is actually a blessing. Today we have the choice, tomorrow we might, but we do not know what could happen next, or how hard it will be for the next generations.
~ Basel Amr
Residential Toilets. (2020, September 25). Retrieved October 15, 2020, from https://www.epa.gov/watersense/residential-toilets
Welsh, J. (2019, January 18). Three Things You Can do To Save Water in the Shower. Retrieved October 15, 2020, from https://www.therighttoshower.com/ethical-living/3-things-you-can-do-to-save-water-in-the-shower