March 22, 2018

World Water Day

We hear a lot about food security these days, but not so much about water security. That is sure to change in the years ahead. By 2025, the United Nations estimates that nearly half of the world's population will live in water-stressed regions.

That is why World Water Day is so important - we have to prepare for inevitable water shocks such as Cape Town, South Africa is currently experiencing. Their water system is expected to dry up some time this summer, leaving 7.3 million thirsty citizens severely water stressed. They are currently under severe water restrictions.

Could you live on 50 litres of water per day? The average Canadian uses three hundred twenty-nine.

Although the Canadian Maritimes are predicted to become wetter in a climate-changed future, my region in Nova Scotia recently experienced the worst drought since record keeping began in the 1800s. Many families saw their wells go dry for the first time, leaving them in a state of emergency for several months.

Many communities around the world will find themselves in a battle for water, if they aren't there already, like Cape Town.

Gwyne Dyer's 2008 book, Climate Wars: The Fight For Survival As The World Overheats, looks at the possibility that countries with water woes will go to war with each other to secure and protect supplies for their people.

Dyer says, "climate-change scenarios are already playing a large and increasing role in the military planning process.” If the military is planning for such scenarios, so should the rest of us. If we change our ways, and conserve precious resources, we can avert future water wars.

Water is life. Only oxygen is more important to our survival.

Canadian water usage:

Industry - 68%
Household - 20%
Agriculture - 12%

Canadian Household usage:

Drinking/meal preparation - 10%
Cleaning, including laundry - 25%
Toilet flushing - 30%
Bathing - 35%


  1. Anonymous3/23/2018

    Oh boy, does this post resonate. As I write this, I am sitting here waiting for the well guy to show up. I live in the country where we don't have city water. Our water supply comes from wells, holding tanks, and (in my case) in-ground cisterns. This means that we are all dependent on a) weather (rainwater and snow melt from my roof goes into the cistern and b) how many gallons per minute one's well produces and c) water delivery to fill up the cistern and/or holding tanks. This means that a person living out here needs to be extremely careful with water use. In my house, we have installed low-flow shower heads, a low-flush toilet and well, rules. Rules about water usage. You've cited most of them in your post. When we have a dry spell, the rules get even more strict. The old "three pees and a flush", doing laundry at the laundromat, always turning off the shower while we soap up, etc. It all sounds very draconian but it really isn't, because, in the final analysis, we have water to use. We are so incredibly lucky to be able to turn on the faucet and have clean water come out. Whenever I feel like complaining about the water situation here, I stop and remind myself how amazingly fortunate I am and how many other people would think I live like a queen. By implementing some really quite simple rules, we can all ensure that everyone has sufficient water for their needs. I'm sure that many people will argue that whatever they do is just a drop in the bucket (yes, pun intended!) but I honestly believe that anything we can do to save water, no matter how trivial it seems, is truly a step in the right direction. Let's all be the change we want to see in the world!


  2. Anonymous3/23/2018

    I am a water saver, one of the reasons is because I am a gardener and in the summer I often have to give my plants a drink. We have 2 large rainbarrels and this helps a bit but when we get into drought summers we have to water. In those times I mainly focus on the vegetables.

    This is one of the reasons I shopped taking showers...I wash up at the sink(like in the old days) and I use much less water. I no longer like taking showers so that worked out well for me.
    I also save any water I use in the kitchen to give to the outdoor plants.

    So I routinely try to save water and in doing so I don't feel so bad, since I use my water savings on my plants.



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