When it’s raining or snowing outside, it’s easy to forget why water conservation is so important and that our everyday choices make a difference.
The truth is though that freshwater makes up a very small fraction of all the water on our planet. While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields. In essence, only 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people. National Geographic
With that being said, the average American still directly* uses 100 to 175 gallons of water per day compared to the average family in African who uses 5 gallons per day. Approximately one-sixth of the world’s population, 1.1 billion people, do not have access to safe drinking water. Of those 1.1 billion people, millions die each year from water contamination related diseases.**
The water and sanitation crisis claims more lives through disease than any war claims through guns. — water.org
Living in a first world country it’s often hard to understand the impact of this crisis as we go about our everyday lives, but the choices we make do matter. Thankfully there are a number of simple steps you can take during your daily routine to reduce your water consumption both for the benefit of the planet and your pocketbook. I’ll start you out with three!
* The amount of water that is indirectly used (through the products we buy and food we eat) is much higher.
**Facts from blueplanetnetwork.org