In the past 10 years, more than a fifth of all Americans have been exposed to contaminated drinking water. We use water every day from cleaning and bathing to cooking and drinking, so we sometimes forget that fresh water is a rare resource. Less than 0.5% of the Earth’s water is usable and consumable, which means there is half a teaspoon of fresh water to every 26 gallons of other water. It’s time to protect the water you drink.
94% of America’s water supply is used for drinking water, making food, and producing energy. The U.S. uses 322 billion gallons of water daily while the average American uses 82 gallons per day. With so much water being used by everyone every day, it is hard to not see how water is impacted by all areas of life. Water has a significant effect on environmental conservation as proper watershed management can protect people, plants, and animals. In fact, reducing at-home water consumption in Western states can help save the lives of endangered creatures such as the grizzly bears and whooping cranes. Unfortunately, our water is being negatively affected by climate change as water loss is expected to rise to 41% by 2060 due to temperature changes. Other effects of climate change include rising sea levels, higher temperatures, and increased number of water-related natural disasters.
To date, more than 21 million Americans are drinking water that violates the U.S. health standards. Water can easily pick up a wide variety of contaminants, such as oils and heavy metals, that can carry diseases, such as cholera and polio. Every year, water-borne diseases create 7.15 million illnesses that cause at least 6,630 deaths in the U.S. Nearly $260 billion are lost every year due to a lack of water sanitation.
Drinking water not only affects our health but our money as well. Basic water and sanitation generates around $18.5 billion in revenue with $1 in clean water creating a $4 ROI from lower health costs, fewer premature deaths, and higher daily productivity. Our world is actually consuming six times the amount of water it did 100 years ago because a lot of our technology – from cars to big tech companies like Google – requires a great amount of water consumption. Thankfully the technology that water fuels can help create innovations that save our usable water.
How are you protecting the water you drink?