It’s World Water Day, celebrated annually on March 22. The day is about focusing world attention on the importance of clean water and how we can collectively protect and preserve water quality, and as importantly, quantity.
In 1993, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly designated March 22 as the first World Water Day. Water is one of the most common substances on earth, and one of the most vital, yet one we squander and prodigiously pollute. This year’s theme is “Nature for Water” and explores nature-based solutions to 21st century challenges.
Today, 2.1 billion people live without a home-based source of safe drinking water. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and the clock is ticking.
What are you doing to reduce your water consumption? Simple dance steps include reducing the amount of meat you consume, easily achieved by trying Meatless Mondays. Substitute showers for tub soaks, put a brick in your toilet tank. Collect air conditioning condensate to water your garden. Maintain plumbing fixtures so they don’t drip or leak.
Consider the following facts:
1. The human body averages 50 to 65 percent water. Newborns have even more: babies are 78 percent water!
2. Water covers 70.9 percent of the planet’s surface.
3. Salt water accounts for 97 percent of Earth’s water.
4. Freshwater found in the Earth’s lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, swamps, wetlands, etc. accounts for only 0.3 percent of the world’s fresh water, the rest is trapped in glaciers or below ground.
5. There is more water in the atmosphere than in all of our rivers combined.
6. If all of Earth’s atmospheric water vapor rained down at once, it would cover the globe with about an inch of water.
7. More than 25 percent of all bottled water comes from a municipal water supply, same as tap water!
8. 748 million people in the world lack access to an improved source of drinking water.
10. 2.5 billion people do not have use of an improved sanitation facility.
11. 1.8 billion people worldwide drink water that is contaminated with feces.
12. The World Health Organization recommends 2 gallons per person daily to meet the requirements of most people under most conditions; and around 5 gallons per person daily to cover basic hygiene and food hygiene needs.
13. Going….on average, a resident of sub-Saharan Africa uses 2 to 5 gallons of water per day.
14. Going….on average, a European resident uses about 50 gallons of water per day.
15. Gone!….on average, an American resident uses about 100 gallons of water per day.
16. A bath uses up to 70 gallons of water; a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons.
17. The average faucet releases 2 gallons of water per minute, so you can save up to four gallons of water by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth.
18. A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water each day.
19. It takes 924 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of rice, but 3,962 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of beef.
20. Collectively, South African women and children walk a daily distance equivalent to 16 trips to the moon and back to fetch water
Broadcast how you cut back on water use by dropping us a comment. How are you winning the war on wasted water?