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The Power of Water: Why do we continue to undervalue and under-appreciate water?

Everywhere we look around the world today, there are worrisome signs of fragility hitting every corner of our planet – food security is a big issue, and water resources are also a big problem! Lack of clean water is a health crisis, a poverty crisis, an environmental crisis, and an economic crisis. As of July 2021, the population stood at 7.9 billion according to a United Nations’ estimation; currently, about 785 million people (1 in 9) lack access to clean water and 2 billion (almost 1 in 4) lack access to a toilet. Experts suggest we will need about 40% more water by 2050, 80% more electricity, and 50% more food because the world’s population will reach 10 billion; plus, some 5.7 billion people could be living in areas where water is scarce for at least one month a year (according to Reuters). The good news is experts believe that if we limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, we could cut climate-induced water stress by up to 50%. But then, what about the pollution problem? Unfortunately, the water which keeps alive is just as polluted as the air we breathe, and it hasn’t only just started.

Evidently, humans both knowingly and unknowingly have been contaminating our water sources for eons with everything from raw sewage, garbage, plastics, and pesticides to harsh chemicals, heavy metals and other pollutants. Of course, the intensity of water pollution became more life-threatening with the Industrial Revolution as factories pumped their chemical waste pollutants into oceans, streams, rivers and valleys. In 2007, CNN reported that up to 500 million tons of heavy metals, solvents and toxic sludge slipped into the global water supply every year, plus about 70% of untreated industrial waste was dumped into rivers and lakes (according to UNESCO), and although the Clean Water Act should protect our water, water pollution remains a serious problem.

Obviously, water is a precious and limited resource! At GreenTalkSolutions, we call for World Water Day to be celebrated every day, for everyone to accept and act responsibly every day, and to hold others accountable, including governments and industrial facilities so we can ensure that water on our planet continues to be sustainable. Let’s be good global citizens and together change the trajectory of our water crisis by making conscious decisions every day to manage our consumption, conserve, and keep our water clean.

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