Freshwater is not as limitless as it seems. In fact, there is no new water on the planet—the water available to us today is the same water that was available to the dinosaurs. The climate cycles we depend on to refill our aquifers are increasingly unstable, and city after city around the world, from Barcelona to Atlanta, is facing its own water crisis. Meanwhile, in the developing world, 2 million people every year die due to diseases caused by unclean water. By 2025 – just 13 short years from now – 5.3 billion people, or two-thirds of the world’s population, will suffer from water shortages.
Still, for many of us, the water crisis might feel like it is unfolding somewhere far away. But the water we use does not disappear all of a sudden – it gets polluted. Each year we create the equivalent of oceans of polluted water. That’s even before we consider our water footprint – the freshwater used up to produce the food we eat and the materials we use and consume every day. By the time it reaches your plate, a single hamburger takes 2,393 litres (more than 630 gallons) to produce. That new pair of shoes? 8,547 liters of water. Most of us never consider how much water it takes to sustain our lifestyle. But the hidden costs of water are all around us.
Each of us is contributing to the world water crisis, and its up to each of us to become part of the solution. Opportunities to conserve water and reduce our water footprint are all around us, from turning off the tap while we brush our teeth to changing the way we consume and how much we waste. Our collective daily habits have a huge influence on the world’s overall water consumption, and small changes can make a big difference. When we make small adjustments in our own lifestyle, we can inspire others to change as well, creating a ripple effect that can spread throughout our community and the world. The InDeed Guide to Water Conservation, delivered to your email inbox when you click Count Me In
, is full of tips on easy ways to reduce our water consumption, as well as instructions for the more intrepid water-savers among us, like learning how to harvest rainwater. When we stop and look at it, there are as many ways to save water as there are people on earth, and that means everyone us can make the commitment
to conserve water and be a part of the solution.