A WORLD OF WATER
— We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. Thomas Fuller, 1732
WATER is an essential element. It is vital to all life. We depend on it, but we take it for granted and we waste it. We expect to turn on the tap and out it will come; clean, clear and plentiful.
The needs of our growing world are escalating and the demand on water is increasing.
It is important we manage water supplies more carefully, not just for ourselves, but to maintain healthy ecosystems.
Water is our most precious resource and it is so important that we conserve it.
Earth’s water resources
Although water is seemingly abundant, there is a real issue in the amount of fresh water available to us.
Over 70% of our Earth’s surface is covered by water but 97.5% of all water on Earth is salt water, leaving only 2.5% as fresh water
Nearly 70% of that fresh water is in the form of ice and permanent snow cover in mountainous regions, the Antarctic and Arctic regions. Most of the remainder is present as soil moisture, or lies in deep underground aquifers as groundwater not accessible to human use.
Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water is accessible for direct human uses. This is the water found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and those underground sources that are shallow enough to be tapped at an affordable cost.
Managing our water
Water is an essential natural resource. It shapes landscapes and is vital for ecosystems as well as human well-being. But water is a resource under considerable pressure. It is therefore important to establish water smart plans.
A few ideas are: increase storage capacity and secure water supplies; improve the efficiency of water use – less waste; reduce water pollution and facilitate water reuse; safely treat and reuse waste water.