Imagine a Day Without Water has rolled round once again. While to many of us envisioning a day without water is as mind-boggling as contemplating the grandeur of the cosmos, it is for billions of people an all-too-present reality.
The problem is manifold, although there are two basic prongs to this century’s coming “water wars”:
- Water scarcity: Some populations simply don’t have enough water to drink, bathe, hydrate their animals and irrigate their crops.
- Water quality: Some regions do have enough (or at least some), but it is filthy and fouled from human and animal waste, trash and pollutants.
Neither situation, needless to say, is desirable. It’s time we did something about it and became better stewards of the Earth today.
Water Wars Are Not New
While water scarcity is a topic popularized only in the last decade or two, the timeline of water conflict in our world is much longer than you might think, starting with “God Punishes Man with Six-Day Storm.”
Yes, you’re allowed to chuckle. But while this might read like something from The Onion, in fact it points to water’s incredible power to influence the human condition for good or ill. (And sadly, six-day storms are growing increasingly common.)
Today, the burgeoning water crises – which in some countries has already reached “full-blown” status – affects us all. If you haven’t felt it yet, you will. Water scarcity is poised to change where we do business, impact agriculture, and determine whether the global gender gap narrows or widens.
Feels pretty overwhelming, we know. But you’re not alone. More importantly, you are not powerless. There are plenty of organizations making change and plenty of technologies capable of turning the tide in water quality and abundance. Let’s take a look.
Water Quality and Stormwater Management
Here are some of our favorite Ecogardens articles covering the latter:
Spotlight on the Great Lakes: The size of the Great Lakes, much like a day without water, is nearly impossible to wrap one’s head around. It contains 20 percent of the world’s freshwater, making it one of the biggest targets for preservation and good management. Our spotlight covers what you need to know.
Thinking Like a Watershed: In this interview with Biohabitats founder Keith Bowers, we take a look at what it means to “think like a watershed.” What do we need to do in order to protect water on local, regional and global scales – while simultaneously fighting other environmental issues?
Stormwater Detention and Retention: Harvesting, managing and using our water right at home is critical. The more we can store from rain and snowfall, the less water we can mine, and the more is available for those who need it.
Using Green Roofs to Slash Stormwater: On a related note, the more we reduce runoff, the cleaner and healthier our water stays – for our sake and the environment’s.
Pharmaceuticals for Fish: People aren’t the only ones affected by contaminated water. Wildlife suffers too, and in our humble opinion, there are way too many fish on antianxiety drugs today. (Read: any fish. Any fish is too many fish.)
Cutting-Edge Advancements in Water Quality and Scarcity Solutions
Here are some of our favorite organizations doing excellent work around the world:
Charity Water: One of the biggest charities crowdfunding its support for the implementation of clean, viable water infrastructure around the world.
Brave Blue World Foundation: Helmed by some of the world’s most brilliant scientists and promoted by high-wattage names such as Matt Damon, this foundation seeks to change our understanding of water and undo some of our most damaging assumptions about it.
Water.org: Specifically targeted toward businesses, Water.org uses a combination of promotional materials and donations to get the word out and create access to safe, clean water globally.
FLOW for water: With a state goal of “Empowering Communities and Leaders to Protect the Great Lakes,” FLOW (For Love of Water) has made its mission to safeguard that precious Great Lakes freshwater.
Water Environment Federation: Serving water quality professionals since 1928, this organization seeks to provide high-quality educational materials and training on the subject of water quality.
Majik Water: One of the most fascinating, and certainly among the most novel, approaches to water scarcity is the idea of pulling it from the air. Starting in Kenya, Majik Water intends to bring its cutting-edge technology to water-scarce regions around the world.
Feel free to let us know who your favorite organization is and what you see as the most pressing water issues in the world today. Take a look at this year’s participants and search for our name on the list!
In the meantime, if you want to contribute to the fight for water quality and to sustainable water harvesting, get in touch with us to learn more today. The Ecogardens team is on the front lines of the water fight, and we invite you to join us. It will be fun, promise.