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Water is one of our most important and precious resources. Like the earth we too are comprised of a significant proportion of water. Some say 60-70% of our bodies are watery fluids. Water is important to detoxify, carry important nutrients and substances from digestion to needed areas, coolant, elimination, electrical conduction and more.

The earth is no different. The oceans comprise a vast portion of the earth’s surface, maybe 90-95% most of which is saltwater. Did you know that only 0.003% of the earth’s non salty water is available for human consumption?

If the availability of fresh water is so limited why are we so foolish in our use of it? Today we spend a fortune on bottled water, filtered water because of contaminants. Yet our water resources are vital for producing food, transporting waste, clothing, and more. The EPA reports nitrogen and phosphorus as well as mercury and bacteria levels are  excessive  in many of our rivers and streams rendering them unsafe.

Bottled Water May Be Tap Water

“You will probably be surprised to learn that they get at least 25% of our bottled water right from the tap. Bottlers simply bottle the local tap water, label it, and ship it off to stores. Sometimes they treat it first – sometimes they don’t. We consumers pay up to 10,000 times more per gallon for bottled water than we would pay for tap water.”

Today, Americans apply more than 7 billion gallons of water/day to our outdoors. Capturing our storm water adds to runoff which is contaminating local waterways with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. And today drug byproducts are in our water supply as well.

“How do the drugs get into the water?

People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The waste water is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.

And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.”

Also water shortages and drought conditions are serious issues in parts of the world and our country.

What practices contribute to water shortages?

1. Any practice that degrades soil (see previous post) and limits infiltration and water holding capabilities.

2. Choosing impervious building materials that prevents water from infiltrating into the soil. Development typically requires storm drains and the above mentioned problems perpetuate.

3. Inappropriate plantings for that region’s precipitation pattern. How can we sustain lawns in deserts when hot arid conditions prevail? The photo to my right shows a desert landscape focusing on plants that are suitable and sustainable in that arid environment. Lawns in general are not.

In my next post I  will focus on positive sustainable practices for water conservation.

Enjoy. Judith

 

 

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