You NEED to care about water for these 3 reasons
Blog post by Asha Suppiah, Co-founder of Water Well-ness Project – Get free updates of new blog posts here.
There’s a lot of talk about a world water crisis. But do you know why talking about water is important? Here’s some answers for why we, here in North America, must care about water:
1. We are so dependent
Have you ever thought about how interconnected your life is to water? Aside from the fact that you drink water and use it to bathe, brush your teeth, and wash dishes, it’s used in a lot of “hidden” forms.
From growing food and processing food, to formulating beauty products, to building electronics, essentially everything in our life requires water to prepare. So, it’s fair to say that if we do not protect and conserve our water resources, all aspects of our lives that use water will be affected.
2. Shortages lead to increases in prices
A very alarming issue for me is how quickly water shortages are hitting the United States. Check out this recent map (below) of the USA showing the severity of droughts the country is experiencing! California, Texas, and Oklahoma are by far the worst affected. Majority of the West Coast droughts are expected to have long-term impacts.
Although I am a Canadian, this situation affects me for multiple reasons, one being that there is talk about exporting Canada’s water to the United States. With the combination of water pollution, climate change and increasing water demands, shortages of clean water in Canada are coming. As a result, when water resources dwindle, every process that requires water (i.e. everything) will become more expensive.
For example, a farmer growing tomatoes in California who faces a drought might not be able to grow the yield she was planning for. To at least partially recoup her loss, she will need to increase the price she sells her tomatoes at.
This table from Statistics Canada shows by how much prices have changed in Canada between 2013 and 2014 for all types of food. Fresh fruit prices have increased by 2.7%, fresh vegetables by 2.6% and meat by 12.2%. At the supermarket, the higher prices that you see partially reflect water issues that farmers face. Price hikes in many other day-to-day products are already here or are coming soon, too.
3. Water quality matters
Another reason why we must care about water is because our own human bodies require clean, not dirty, water to function properly. We have to keep the quality of our water high.
Water in our homes travel by pipes and reaches a water treatment plant. In places like Vancouver, up until 2013, sewage water coming to the water treatment plant only had to undergo “primary treatment” involving removal of floatables (solid matter). Other liquid things that go down the drain (human waste, detergent, household cleaning products) didn’t get cleaned out (watch the video). This water, toxic compounds and all, goes back into our water bodies.
And what about those medications that you throw down the toilet? Unfortunately, water treatment plants cannot remove majority of them. Medications like antibiotics remain in our water and consequently in our water bodies, which poses potentially harmful consequences for not only aquatic biodiversity, but also us!
These are just three reasons why we in North America need to care about water. Definitely there are many more, so comment below to add your reasons to the list!
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