International World Water Day is held every March to focus global attention on the importance of water and advocating for the sustainable management of our water resources. For 2014, International World Water Day will be held on Friday, March 21st.
The key message of International World Water Day 2014 is about what you will do this year and beyond to promote sustainable practices in the realm of water and energy.
The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has some interesting stats about how much water is used to produce many of the things we eat and drink:
Did you know that less than 1% of water is available for human use. The rest is salt water (oceans), frozen water (polar ice caps), or inaccessible water (groundwater that’s trapped). We need water to grow or produce everything we eat or drink as well as the products we use. How much water do we need? Some examples: 1 slice of bread – 1 gallon; 1 pound of chicken – 10 gallon; a cup of coffee – 2 gallons; 1 pound of corn – 50 gallons; 1 pound of eggs – 20 gallons; 1 pound of hamburger – 450 gallons; 1 sheet of paper – 3 gallons; a cotton shirt – 100 gallons; 1 pound of wheat – 60-100 gallons.
In an area with limited water resources, simply conserving water that comes from the tap may not be enough. A more sustainable lifestyle approach could help. For instance, would you change the type of food you eat, what clothes you buy, and what products you use, if you needed to pay an additional charge based on the amount of water used?
If the amount of water needed for one serving of beef was 450 times more than to produce one serving of bread, would you eat more bread and eat less beef? If you had to pay $30 for a hamburger, would you still buy one?
Thinking about the true cost of our lifestyle on the environment can be enlightening. What are the impacts of the choices we make? Armed with new knowledge, we can make decisions that are better for the environment.
With the threat of dwindling water and energy resources becoming increasingly real with each passing day, it is important for every person to contribute to the conservation of both. By adapting our daily behavior even just a little bit, we can reduce carbon emissions and can improve quality, reliability, sustainability, efficiencies and asset optimization, security, and cost effectiveness. There are a number of basic steps that each person can take to help protect the interdependency of water and energy. Below are just a few of the broadest ways in which you can make a difference:
- Reduce demand where possible and conserve.
- Meter consumption so that we know what is being consumed – if you don’t measure, you can’t control.
- Use energy efficiently (e.g., avoid standby and part loaded equipment).
- Purchase and install energy efficient devices/appliances.
- Supply energy efficiently (e.g., combined heat & power and cooling).
- Think exponentially, not incrementally.
- Think holistically.
New patterns in population growth, weather, energy production, and climate demand we take action to protect these valuable resources for ourselves and for future generations. This means not only doing old things in new ways, but also doing new things in new ways. The cost effectiveness of the right solutions require careful thinking because a failed change in terms of cost is gigantic.
Get more info on what you can do here.