7 Truths to Understand About Water Sustainability

Water sustainability is the conservation of clean water for use by humans and other living things. Human activities have the heaviest influence on the quality and quantity of clean, fresh water available at any time. Some of the activities that use the most water aren’t obvious.

Most people are familiar with their direct water footprint. This is the water used for bathing, cooking, cleaning, flushing the toilet, and so on. The type of water consumption is easy to reduce, but it’s just a drop in the bucket. Indirect water usage is far more significant. You might be using a lot more water than you think.

Consider these 7 water sustainability truths:

1. The majority of water used by the average person is used to produce food. For example, a pound of beef can require 2,500 gallons of water. A slice of bread requires 10 gallons. Eating vegan is one of the best ways to reduce your water footprint. Seventy percent of the world’s fresh water is used for agricultural purposes. The meat industry is one of the biggest users of water. The crops for the animals require water. The animals themselves require water. The processing of the meat also requires water. The cleaning and maintenance of meat packing plants also require water.

2. Clothing also requires a tremendous amount of water to produce. A pound of cotton requires as much as 700 gallons of water. Purchasing secondhand clothes is one possibility to conserve water. Another option is buying quality clothes that will last for many years.

3. A liter of bottled water requires a lot more than a liter to produce. It actually requires 4 liters of water to produce the bottle and fill it. Using a refillable bottle is a simple way to reduce your water footprint. Much of the commercially available bottled water is straight from the tap.

4. Air pollution can reduce the amount of potable water available. Consider that there is more water in the atmosphere than in all of the rivers of the world combined. Pollution in the air can reduce the usability of this water. Air in the atmosphere eventually becomes rain and snow. Much of the pollution in the air can contaminate the water that condenses and falls to the earth.

5. The United States uses approximated 400 billion gallons of water each day. Roughly half of that is used in the generation of power. Americans use more water per capita than any other nation.

6. The World Health Organization suggests that each person requires 5 gallons of water each day for optimum health. More than 3 of those gallons are necessary for personal and food hygiene.

7. Almost 11 percent of the world’s population doesn’t have access to clean water. That’s nearly 800 million people. Areas of the world with chronic water shortages or unclean water, are the same areas that tend to suffer from poverty and disease. Improving the quality of a region’s water supply can be an effective way to improve its overall economic and physical health. Water shortages are also considered by many scientists to contribute to gender inequality, corruption, and war.

Keep in mind that only 2.5% of the world’s water is drinkable. Population growth and pollution are a strain on the world’s available potable water. Taking a shower instead of bath, or turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth can help. However, the most significant step anyone can take to sustain the world’s fresh water is to purchase products wisely, particularly food items.

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