Water is arguably the most valuable resource on earth. Next to oxygen, it is the most important necessity for life, but we don't treat it that way. Water makes up about 70% of the earth's surface and about 60% of the adult human body, yet we waste so much of it. As a species we seems to take water for granted and have little concept of its true value. Especially in more developed nations like the United States, the lack of efficiency of which water is used and the fact that we waste far more than we use is clear evidence of this. Until recently, many people in our country had little knowledge of how lucky we are to have unfettered access to clean water. Over 1,000,000,000 people world wide live without access to clean water and women and children have to walk an average of 3.7 miles each day to fetch the water that they need to stay alive! To these people, clean water is a luxury and it is no help that big industries such as mining and fossil fuel extraction are often the cause of water contamination in these places.
Consumer choices can also have a large impact on the amount of clean fresh water available. Dairy and red meats require intensive water use to produce and cutting out or reducing your consumption of these things can make a real difference. Even within your home, making smart water choices can have big results. Taking shorter showers, washing dishes more wisely, and turning off the water when brushing your teeth can save up to 100 gallons of water each day. Please be sure to keep all of these things in mind when using water because it is a resource that everyone in the world uses, but not all are able to get. So on World Water Day take time to appreciate the water you have and consider helping those who have less of it.