Today is World Water Day! We invite you to join us today in focusing awareness on how much water we use, and how desperately clean water is needed in other parts of the world.
Spring in Maine alternates between snowstorms and sudden warm-ups that raise river levels, send meltwater rushing down gutters, and fill potholes with puddles. The pristine Damariscotta River runs below our headquarters, and at Thompson’s Pond the water is so pure locals still harvest and store its ice in a traditional ice house every winter. And of course, all we need to do for a drink of cold, clean water is turn on the tap.
We’re so lucky to be surrounded by so much clean water!
Today, on World Water Day, we’re being mindful of what an enormous privilege clean, abundant water truly is. Over 2.8 billion people around the world live in a place with an insufficient water supply. Over 1.8 billion people all around the world—that’s one in ten people on earth!—can only get drinking water from a source contaminated with waste. Each drink they take puts them at risk for cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. At the World Economic Forum in 2015, this global water crisis was ranked as the #1 risk to society. And experts believe that global warming and accelerating climate change will only make this problem much, much worse.
The theme for 2018 – Nature for Water – explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century.
Environmental damage, together with climate change, is driving the water-related crises we see around the world. Floods, drought, and water pollution are all made worse by degraded vegetation, soil, rivers, and lakes.
When we neglect our ecosystems, we make it harder to provide everyone with the water we need to survive and thrive.
Nature-based solutions have the potential to solve many of our water challenges. We need to do so much more with ‘green’ infrastructure and harmonize it with ‘grey’ infrastructure wherever possible. Planting new forests, reconnecting rivers to floodplains, and restoring wetlands will rebalance the water cycle and improve human health and livelihoods.
In honor of World Water Day, we’re dedicating our attention to the necessity of nature-based solutions, trying to spread the word, and being particularly mindful of our personal water usage.
The average American household uses over 400 gallons of water per day, and we can use so much less by making a few simple changes:
~Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or wash dishes by hand.
~Replace old shower heads with newer, water efficient models, and try getting in and out a bit quicker.
~If any faucets in your house leak, call the plumber to get them fixed.
~Wait to run your washing machine or dishwasher until it is full, and choose low-flow toilets and Water Sense rated washing machines and dishwashers if you renovate or upgrade.
~Shrink the amount of your lawn that needs daily watering and only waterin the early morning. Use a rain barrel to collect water for your garden and lawn.
~Support local water conservation efforts in your area.
~You can also learn more about World Water Day and the worldwide water crisis at www.worldwaterday.org.