By: Michele Cantos, PR Intern
Take shorter showers! Turn off the faucet! Fix that leak!
We have all heard these phrases about a million times from our parents or the crazy science teacher who is obsessed with the environment. At some point, these commands seem to just mesh together and sound like a broken record.
While these phrases may be a bit played out, they carry an important (and even scary) message behind them. The message is “water is our source of life.”
Last Thursday, I attended the Sustainability Division’s screening of the documentary “Blue Gold: World Water Wars.” One of the experts featured in the film reminded us that when we search for “life” in space, we are searching for water on other planets, hoping to find some to save us from what will happen if we do not reverse our waste and pollution of the precious resource.
Of all of the environmental films I have seen, Blue Gold was the most eye opening and, frankly, the most terrifying. The truth is that in a couple of decades from now there will be no more fresh water on planet earth. While there are other options, such as desalination or sewage treatment, these alternatives are costly and require large amounts of oil and energy.
We have been desensitized and perhaps can’t even picture what a world without water would look like. Aside from there being no more water (or any liquid drinks) to quench our thirsts or showers, there will also be no agriculture, no processed food, no livestock, no trees or shade. According to the film, cities built on top of ground water reserves have also began to sink in, as the water underneath them is depleted.
This issue is beyond the developing world and will affect everyone. Without fresh water the earth will not be able to sustain many forms of life, including the life forms that we consume and human life.
What can we do?
Take shorter showers? Collect rainwater?
But is this enough?
The film highlighted both individual waste and pollution of water but made it clear that most of the pollution and waste of fresh water comes from large factories and corporations. As consumers, we have the power to dictate how our products are made, the amount of water they use to make these products, and where waste is dumped. Support companies that are environmentally responsible, contact your state representatives and ask them to reject projects that affect our water reserves and to promote those that benefit the local water reserves. For more information on what you can do, check out the following hyperlink Action Plan.