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Water, the earth’s most valuable resource without which life would not exist. In the United Kingdom we take it for granted but much of the world’s population struggle to collect it or have no access to safe water at all.
Next time you leave the tap running whilst cleaning your teeth think about if all adults in England and Wales did the same thing; we would be wasting over 39.5 million gallons per day, enough water for 500,000 homes!
Next time you moan about the typical British weather remember that 85% of the world’s population live in the driest half of the planet and 1 in 10 people have no access to safe drinking water which is why diseases from dirty water kill more people annually than all forms of violence including wars.
One in every 5 infant deaths which occur around the world is due to a water related disease which is one life every 90 seconds.
More than 2 billion people worldwide rely on wells for their water and it is estimated that women and children spend a total of 125,000,000 hours every day collecting water for domestic use. Incredibly more people globally have a mobile telephone than a toilet. That’s 2.4 billion people without a toilet or one in three of the earth’s population.
Over the past 40 years the world’s population has doubled and use of water has quadrupled. Man already uses over half the world’s accessible freshwater and it is anticipated that by 2025 this figure will have risen to nearly three quarters.
We tend to forget that water is embedded in almost everything we eat and make. For example, a typical European style fast food lunch consisting of a hamburger, chips and a drink uses 1500 gallons of water. This includes the water needed to cultivate the potatoes, the grain for the burger bun and the grain also needed to feed the cattle to produce the burger. Finally there is the production of the drink. In fact, in the western world almost 6,800 gallons of water is required just to grow a day’s food for a family of four.
The average house roof within the UK captures 85,000 litres of rainwater a year so we should seriously consider the benefits of rainwater harvesting for use when purified water is not an essential. In this way as individuals we can save money and do our bit for the environment.
So remember; don’t waste it and bear a thought for all those less fortunate than ourselves and their daily struggle for earth’s greatest resource.