Well today is the 20th Anniversary of World Water Day. An idea formed from a UN Environmental conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. Over the years there have been various different themes on topics as varied as ﾑGroundwater ﾖ The Invisible Resourceﾒ in 1998 to ﾑWater and Food Security: The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungryﾒ last year.
Today Save Water Save Money has been supporting WaterAid to promote the plight of the 743million people around the world that still do not have access to clean water and sanitation. We are giving 10% of profits from today to support their work in the developing world along with The Gorilla Organization.
But in this article I wanted to talk to you about some of the less highlighted water crises around the world, itﾒs not just the global south that suffers from droughts and water shortages. Saving Water is becoming more crucial in areas of the world where we have previously taken this critical resource for granted.
The United States (one of the largest users of water, per capita, in the world) is being ravaged by drought, which has laid waste to much of the Corn Belt, driving up grain prices and causing sleepless nights for farmers. And the situation does not look like improving any time soon, on Thursday NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) warned that the hot, dry conditions are unlikely to ease before the middle of this year. The cost of the drought is estimated at above $50bn, greater than the economic damage caused by hurricane Sandy1.
In 2003, Australia began the worst drought on record, not only did this devastate farming but forced cityﾒs like Melbourne into punishing restrictions on water usage. The drought officially ended on 27th April 2012. By this point the Federal Government had spent $4.5 Billion in drought assistance2. Not a small chunk of change
And the fault cannot all be placed at the door of climate change. One of the biggest problems facing the world in the 21st Century is our love of a juicy steak! As the world gets richer weﾒre all eating more meat and the planet is struggling to keep up with our growing demand for water. Itﾒs not just farming, by some estimates producing a new set of tyres uses over 10,000 litres of water3.
And the moral of the story, water is going to become more valuable across the world. Itﾒs a precious resource and should be treated as such.
So next time your brushing your teeth, make sure you donﾒt leave the tap running!