Dom Lowe and Ben Jacobs of Zulu 7 bring you the first of a series of blogs from our groups about they have been spending World Water Day.
70% of the Earth is covered by water but just 1% is suitable for drinking.
We are facing the challenge of distributing that 1% amongst a growing global population, expected to reach nine billion by 2050. 15% of the world’s people have no choice but to drink from unclean sources, putting at risk health and livelihoods. And each year we face up to 8 million deaths worldwide from the consequences of water-related diseases and disasters.
Our global water crisis has its roots not only in demand, but also in increasing scarcity.
|Berny and Cali getting the water flowing in Acuapa|
Areas of North Africa and South Asia, for example, currently face extremely high levels of scarcity. Ultimately putting lives at risk, this problem of existing scarcity is exacerbated by poor management of finite global water supply. Water pollution, abuse of water treaties, and diversion of sources are examples of careless use of the 1% of the Earth’s water that is available for drinking. Sewage and industry pump 2 billion tonnes of waste into world waterways each year. As a consequence of this behaviour, by 2030, 47% of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress as millions lose access to clean water or are forced to drink from dirty sources.
Therefore, looking ahead, it is imperative to protect our precious water supply through more sensible water policies. Treaties must be respected, industrial waste must be regulated and diversion of water supplies away from vulnerable communities must be limited.
But it is not just on the international scale where water usage must be managed. As individuals we all have an obligation to use water sensibly.
|Marie digging trenches for water pipes in Carara NP|
Zulu 7 spent world water day monitoring our water consumption and made an attempt to reduce our usage. By taking just a five minute shower instead of a 15 minute one or by turning off the tap when brushing our teeth, we found that we could save a remarkably large amount of water. Water-saving methods like these, if replicated widely, mean that future generations won’t pay such a heavy price for our irresponsible management of water.
In order to protect future generations, we must use water sustainably in the present.