The importance of Water
Rafael Ramirez, Jilian LamprechtThe importance of water 6/5/2016CEC Andr-chavanneThe importance of Water
Rafael Ramirez, Jilian Lamprecht6/5/2016
Table of ContentsI. Introduction.
II. How can we use water more efficiently and what effects would it have?
III. How can we restore and protect water sources - Las Vegas.
IV. In which ways can we teach small local and isolated communities to better manage their water?
V. How could we improve peoples life by providing them with clean, fresh drinking water?
IntroductionOn the 25 of September 2015, at the United Nations Development Summit, Many world leaders came together and adopted the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. This agenda includes a set of 17 sustainable development goals, or SDGs, and each goal is centered on an area of development such as poverty, education, and fight for inequality or renewable energy. For this project we have decided to look into the sixth SDG, which is centered on clean water and sanitation. This goal works on achieving clean water for drinking and hygiene for everyone by 2030, as well as other secondary objectives such as assuring that everyone has a secure water source, or teaching small isolated communities how to treat their water and distribute it evenly. In this project, we have decided to explore four different topics related to water and sustainable development. Ranging from how we could use water more efficiently to how small communities need to be taught to manage their water; So that at the end of this project of research, we can understand if these goals will be achievable by 2030 or not.
How can we use water more efficiently and what effects would it have ?
Water is vital to the survival of everything on the planet. But even though the Earth might seem having abundant water, less than 1 percent is readily available for human use.
Water represents one of the biggest problems nowadays. Millions of people lack access to safe drinking water, while those who have waste it without thinking about it.It seems so normal for us to have water that we dont care about how much we use. One example could be the ice bucket challenge, an activity that took place two years ago involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone's head to promote awareness of the diseaseamyotrophic lateral sclerosis and encourage donations to research. It was for a good cause, but if a child suffering from lack of water is shown one of these videos, he definitely wont understand why people dump a full bucket of fresh and clean water on their head, while he doesnt even have enough to quench his thirstConsidering the fact that a minimum of 8 to 20 liters were used each time someone did this challenge, more than 23000000 liters have been wasted worldwide, that is enough water to fill up 9.2 Olympic swimming pools However, its nothing compared to the amount of water we waste every day.Simply because of leaks, nearly 40000 liters of water are wasted every year by an average household, an almost 4 trillion liters of water can be wasted in one year by a country like the United-States, which represents the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.
Wasting water has a lot of bad consequences:First, we pay more expensive bills as we use more water. So, by wasting it, we pay for water we dont use. Moreover, cleaning and transporting water takes a large amount of energy. When this water is wasted, larger amounts must be cleaned and transported, and this requires the use of more fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources. The more water that is wasted, the faster these resources become depleted, and the more quickly their dangerous by-products such as carbon dioxide build up in the Earth's atmosphere.Overuse of water in homes also reduces the amount of water for use in agriculture. If theres not enough quantity to water plants, crop yields are reduced and the food supply for humans and for livestock is affected. Plus, the fresh water that is supplied to homes and businesses is often taken from aquatic environments in which the plants and animals rely on the water to survive. If too much water is removed from these systems and not returned in equal quantities, species become endangered.Finally, in places where clean water is scarce, wasting water reduces the amount that is available for other people to use for drinking, cooking and cleaning. From this point of view, wasting water contributes to illness, disease and starvation.To lessen these problems, we need to be water efficient, which means that everyone should use as much water as needed for their purpose, and not more than necessary.
A lot of actions can be done, but here are a few examples of what we could tell to other people: Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth. Take short showers of 5 minutes maximum instead of baths. Turn off the water while soaping or shampooing. Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool. Use short blasts to rinse dishes instead of running water Take your car to a carwash that recycles water If you have a pool, cover it to prevent evaporation When using washing machines, wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level. Check for leaks in your toilets, faucets and hoses, and then fix them.
Almost 700'000 liters of water per household could be saved each year if everybody respected these few rules
Another measure that can be taken concerns food. As water is involved in everything we eat, drink and wear, we also waste a lot of water by wasting food.Here are some statistic of how much water is used to produce different types of food :
By cooking more food than we can eat, we have to throw away leftovers that have needed a lot of water to be produced.Similarly, a huge quantity of water can be saved by eating some aliments instead of others.In this way, replacing 500 grams of beef by 500 grams of vegeatables each week represents a saving of more than 350000 liters of water annualy.As second example, drinking one cup of tea instead of one cup of coffee per day saves 35000 liters of water a year.To sum up, there is not one big solution that can solve every water-related problem in the world. Instead, if little actions and principles are carried out by everybody, big changes can be made.
How can we restore and protect water sources ? - Las Vegas
The USA is one of the countries that consume the most water in the world, with an average consumption of up to 1500 liters a day for a four member household. This is more than thrice the consumption per household of most of the other countries. Thats because in most cases they do not use water very intelligently.Some cities like Las Vegas are even described as running out of water. But the reality is different:There are a lot of rumors on Las Vegas, like Las Vegas is going dry, Lake Mead will run out of water by 2021, or Las Vegas is using more water from Colorado River than its allowed. But in fact, all of these are false.
Lake Mead, Las VegasEven though the city consumes approximately 450 liters of water per person each day, it has become, and Vegas people insist, a model of water conservation in the American West.Almost every single drop of water used indoors, and this all across the valley, gets transported through about 3,200 kilometers of pipe to treatment facilities, in which water is filtered, treated with bacteria that break down harmful compounds, and exposed to ultraviolet light that disinfects it. After that, its pumped back into Lake Mead, where the Las Vegas water district can pump it again.Thanks to this system, the effects on the lakes level by indoor water use are almost negated.Changes have been brought to residences too. For more than fifteen years now, the water district has been paying people to remove the grass from their yards. (The current rate is $1.50 per square foot)
Moreover, strict standards have been agreed by homebuilders and the Water Authority for new homes: New houses that are built cannot have grass in their front yard. The maximum limit of grass in backyards is 50%. During the summer, you are not allowed to water your lawn between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. These are the times of day when the sun is most likely to evaporate water before it soaks into the ground.The Las Vegas Valley Water District also installed computerized monitors to detect leaks in its self-contained water system. Thanks to these installations, more than 1,600 underground leaks have been detected, which have saved approximately 1 billion liters of water, which represents enough water to supply 1,800 Vegas homes for a year. Authorities have even been talking about a desalinization project.
In the end, even though Las Vegas looks like it uses a lot of water, which is true, it really cares about the amount it uses, and makes a lot of efforts to limit the waste of water, given that water is vital for Las Vegas to thrive.In which ways can we teach small local and isolated communities to better manage their water ?
The sixth MDG is divided into different objectives, and objective 7C aims to reduce the amount of people without sustainable access to adequate sanitation and safe to drink water by half. If that objective is to be reached by 2030, there needs to be a clear improvement to the quality and the safety of small community water supplies in both developed and developing countries.About half of the worlds population lives in rural locations, and they are usually supplied water by small community water supplies. These supplies are mostly obsolete and outdated, which makes them prone to contamination and breakdown. The biggest risk of an insecure water source is an epidemic breakout, such as