One of the foci for today's Blog Action Day is Water over-consumption in industrialised countries.
That means us here in Australia!
Being an island we tend to assume we are isolated form some of the world's problems, but our water management has an important effect on the rest of the world's ecology, whether it is just the way we use/waste our money in creating solutions to water shortages, or whether it is because we buy products that require heavy water usage for their production.
Here are some of the pointers that the organisers of BAD2010 have sent me.
Water over-consumption in industrialized countries:
While the developing world faces a water crisis, those in industrialized countries consume far more than their fair share.
• Food Footprint:
It takes 24 litres of water to produce one hamburger. That means it would take over 19.9 billion litres of water to make just one hamburger for every person in Europe.
• Technology Footprint:
The shiny new iPhone in your pocket requires half a litre of water to charge. That may not seem like much, but with over 80 million active iPhones in the world, that's 40 million litres to charge those alone.
• Fashion Footprint:
That cotton t-shirt you're wearing right now took 1,514 litres of water to produce, and your jeans required an extra 6,813 litres.
• Bottled Water Footprint:
The US, Mexico and China lead the world in bottled water consumption, with people in the US drinking an average of 200 bottles of water per person each year. Over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to manufacture those water bottles, 86 percent of which will never be recycled.
Water and the environment:
The disregard for water resources in industrialized countries impacts more than humans – it causes environmental devastation.
• Waste Overflow:
Every day, 2 million tons of human waste are disposed of in water sources. This not only negatively impacts the environment but also harms the health of surrounding communities.
• Polluted Oceans:
Death and disease caused by polluted coastal waters costs the global economy $12.8 billion a year.
• Uninhabitable Rivers:
Today, 40% of America's rivers and 46% of America's lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life.
The good news is that there are great organizations working on solutions and new tools that empower people to do their part to address the water crisis.
• Building Wells:
Organizations like Water.org and charity: water are leading the charge in bringing fresh water to communities in the developing world.
• Technology for Good:
Do you want to measure how much water it took to make your favorite foods? There's an app for that.
• Conservation Starts at Home:
The average person uses 465 litres of water per day. Find out how much you use.
• Keeping Rivers Clean:
We can all take small steps to help keep pollution out of our rivers and streams, like correctly disposing of household wastes.
• Drop the Bottle:
Communities around the world are taking steps to reduce water bottle waste by eliminating bottled water.
Australian Classroom Resources
- Mission H2O game: there are 8 online games here at SaveWater. The focus is to discover water saving tips for every room in the house. You can submit your highest score for prizes.
- Yarra Valley Water has a range of online educational materials
- 17-23 October is National Water Week in Australia. Visit the site for resources, water conservation tips, educational activities, and conservation tips.
- Yarra Valley Water has been conducting a short film competition leading up to national Water Week. The 2010 winners will be announced on 18 October and you can see the 2009 winners here.