HUM Magazine May, 2013

Page 42

Green The goal of Sustainability 2.0 column is to share valuable resources, discuss relevant trends and bring you the latest and greatest on how become part of a creative solution. We will discuss energy, out of the box water conservation, socially responsible investing, eco-tourism, healthy eating, and collaborative consumption.

Blue Gold:

Why We Love It and Why We Will Miss It When It Is Gone

BY TAJANA MESIC “Water is the driving force in nature,“ wrote Leonardo da Vinci. Water is the fascinating and irreplaceable blue gold of humanity. Without water, we cannot create energy and can’t grow food. There is no life on Earth without it. Our world is an ocean world awash with salty water. With over 70 percent of the globe covered in water, fresh drinking water is at a premium. If all of Earth’s water could be placed inside a water cooler, the available fresh water would amount to one tablespoon. Saline Ocean Water = 97% Fresh Water in Ice Caps = 2% Inaccessible Underground Water = 1% Saline or Brackish Water = 0.01% Water Available for Consumption = 0.01% With statistics, we predicted that the world’s population would double by 2050.


Humanity’s needs are bound to increase, requiring ever more food and water to sustain the human race. The biggest factor driving water consumption won’t be the home or workplace, or even industrial processes. Seventy percent of the world’s usable water is consumed in agriculture growing and raising our food. Even today, more than two thirds of all the world’s fresh water is used to grow our food. The first question I sought an answer for was how much water does an average person use per day. The answer stunned me, and made me think twice about my own water use. In America, we spend about 100 gallons of water per day for drinking, cooking and sanitation. Contrast that to 15 gallons per day on average for the rest of the world. What happens when the aquifers run dry or we experience another drought period, like we did in 2011?

For an action-oriented sustainability consultant and conservationist, using scientific predictions comes more naturally than guessing. According to scientists, a third of the world’s population will face water shortages within 15-20 years. To regain water and the ability to produce food and energy, we must explore and employ efficient and creative solutions. One of the problems was that up to the 1970s, water was essentially low cost to many big users and municipal water suppliers. Low price for water discouraged efficiency measures. Things are rapidly changing today, as we experience periods of droughts and our fresh water supply dwindles. Current sources of drinking water include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells with only small amount of our fresh water coming from rivers, lakes and streams. Primary

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