Many of us take water for granted. We turn on our taps and it is there, ready to be used for a variety of purposes, from filling our kettles to washing our dishes.
But what if we were to run out of water? How would we cope?
The situation is unthinkable yet according to Earth.org, a number of countries are currently facing water scarcity, including Egypt, Iraq, India, and the United States.
As you can gather from the linked article, there are a number of reasons for water shortages in these countries.
Big businesses are partly to blame as they are building dams that affect the water supply to local communities, and climate change is another major factor as it is causing exceptional drought in some areas, including regions within the United States.
Should you be worried if you're living in a country where water scarcity isn't yet a problem? Absolutely!
While it is unlikely that water will run out in its entirety, there is still the worry that water shortage and the supply of clean water will one day become major problems for many of us.
Why is water scarcity becoming a problem?
70% of our planet is covered in water so it's easy to believe water will always be plentiful.
However, only a small percentage of that water is freshwater and much of that is already locked away in frozen glaciers where it cannot be accessed.
As such, we don't have quite as much water as we think we do. Many countries are already being affected by this problem, including the countries we have already mentioned.
So, what are the major reasons behind water scarcity? Let's take a look.
When chemical substances and harmful microorganisms contaminate bodies of water, that water becomes unsafe and unusable.
But how do these get into our waters?
Big businesses without waste management systems in place are sometimes to blame for water pollution as they leak industrial waste, including chemicals and other toxic pollutants, into our freshwater systems.
Ocean dumping of plastic waste and other garbage is another reason why waters become polluted.
The UK, the US, and India are among the worst offenders for dumping plastic into the ocean.
We can also point the finger of blame at ourselves.
When we use chemical products in our homes and gardens, we inadvertently affect our water supplies when these chemicals enter water bodies after diffusing through soil or entering our drainage systems.
Many countries that produce large amounts of food, including the US, China, and Australia, are reaching their water resource limits.
This is because of leaky irrigation systems that waste water and the use of pesticides and fertilisers that pollute water systems.
The human population has more than doubled over the last 50 years and as you will probably understand, this causes stress on our water reserves.
More people means added water consumption both at home and in the outside world when businesses, including those involved in food supply, use more water to keep up with global demand.
Rising global temperatures and extreme weather patterns caused by climate change are having an effect on our water supplies.
Higher temperatures lead to drought and evaporated rainfall and extreme weather patterns lead to natural disasters that can contaminate or destroy entire water supplies.
How can we combat the issue of water scarcity?
Water scarcity isn't an issue that should be dismissed as its not a future problem.
As we have suggested, many countries are already having to face up to the issue and due to continuing problems associated with climate change and big industries, many more places around the world could be affected.
What can we do about it? There is much we can do.
What can businesses do?
To reduce their water footprint, businesses should deploy water reduction technologies.
Those within the agricultural industry could use micro-irrigation systems, for example, as these are used to control water flow.
Businesses big and small could also incorporate water-efficient taps and toilets into their company buildings and use other methods of saving water in the workplace.
Business leaders can also take steps to reduce water pollution by disposing of waste materials responsibly and by finding ways to reduce the use of chemicals and toxins.
Business leaders should also consider their impact on the communities around them.
Some countries have had to face reduced water supplies because larger industries have created dams for various projects, and others have had to deal with polluted water.
If these business leaders can meet with community leaders before such projects are actioned, they will have a wider understanding of their ethical responsibilities in the areas that they are working in.
What can we all do?
Many of us are responsible for wasting water in our homes and for causing pollution with our plastic waste.
We can take steps to conserve water by…
- Shortening the amount of time we spend in the shower.
- Using water-efficient appliances.
- Fixing leaky taps.
- Only using dishwashers and washing machines when we have a full load.
To prevent pollution, we can…
- Use alternatives to chemical cleaning products.
- Use alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilisers.
- Discard waste responsibly.
- Cut back on plastic use.
- Use sustainably made products.
We have only touched on a few ideas here so learn more about your water responsibility by reading other articles online.
By taking the appropriate steps, you can help to save water and prevent pollution in your local community.
Misona can help you save water and prevent pollution
We can't turn your taps off for you and we can't come around to fix any leaks either.
But what we can do is sell you products that stay fresher for longer, thus reducing the need for you to wash them on a too-regular basis.
Not only will you help to save the planet when you buy from us but you will do much to protect your skin too.
For example, take a look at our organic bamboo towels which have been made using bamboo cotton that is kinder to your skin.
Check out our full range of sustainable homeware and choose something that will both add to your bathroom aesthetics and protect the environment.