Clean Water Crisis/Scarcity For decades, providing clean water to the masses has been a goal. Even with the “Millennium Declaration”, a goal proposed by the United Nations to provide clean water sources to everyone in the world by 2020, many people will go without clean water supplies. Can you imagine living in a region where there are struggles to get a glass of clean water. It seems so distant to us living in modern industrialized America, yet this concept is completely taken for granted in everyday life. We simply forget the means as to how we have gotten this necessity of life delivered to our kitchen sink.
This is nonetheless relevant in today’s world. Unless you are one of the unfortunate countries or regions in which there is limited supplies of water and the water that is present is stagnant or so contaminated with bacteria and other minerals that it literally makes you sick from dysentery by simply drinking one glass. Letsfirst look at the public water supply in area’s with scarce resources. With a population of well over 120 million people less than 30% of Nigeria has access to safe drinking water(Nigeria). Ingestion of unsafe drinking water can result in spreadable disease.
In fact, in India, 21% of all spreadable disease is due to a lack of safe water, and diarrhea alone causes more than 1,600 deaths daily(India). Worldwide 1 out of every 4 deaths under the age of 5 is due to a water-related disease (water). The niger river which once flowed freely though Africa has been being used to produce hydro-electric power out of the Akosombodam. According to BBC news, Nigeria is dependent on this river and the river is now facing environmental catastrophe as a result of pollution”. The United States is affected much less than other parts of the world at this time.
Although if we do not change something soon we may end up like some of the worlds less fortunate counties. California has been in a drought since 2006. Our own Lexington reservoir is down to less than 5% due construction of a safer dam (Rogers). We may be in trouble; the reservoir will not gain water levels until we come out of this drought. That’s because reservoirs and groundwater are already depleted after two years of drought – and because the state’s population is much bigger than it was during the last statewide drought in the early 1990s. As the population grows; the demand for water increases.
Since 1990 the population has doubled. Yet water usage has increased by 6 times. Many Americans are accustomed to having whatever they want, when they want, at any cost. We need to think about the affects of everything that we do, take a simple shower for example. In a survey taken from 36 people from the ages 15- 55 the average person took 8 showers per week. With an average estimated time of 15 minutes. A low flow shower head can produce as little as about 1. 5 gallons per minute. The legal limit for a company to produce a shower head is 2. 5 gallons per minute, but most companies work around that by having a removable flow restrictor.
If this is not put in upon installation a high flow shower head can produce up to 5-7 gallons per minute. So this means of the 36 people surveyed, assuming that they have between the legal limit of 1. 5 and 2. 5 gallons per minute, the total of their usage will be between 336,960 and 561,600 Gallons of water per year. That’s over a half million gallons of water for 36 people per year, to take their showers. According to the US Census Bureau as of June 2007 the population of California was 37,700,000, and is still growing(what). This would mean that in 2007 alone California used an unbelievable 470 billion gallons of water to take showers.