Conservation Efforts: Why Should We Save Water?
Reasons for Conservation and Why We Should Care About Saving Water
Since 71% of the earth is covered in water, most people can't help but wonder — Why should we conserve?
What we know about the bodies of water on this planet boils down to the following:
- 97% of all the water on the earth is salt water, which is not suitable for drinking.
- Only 3% of all the water is fresh water, and only 1% is available for drinking.
- 2% of the available freshwater sources is locked in ice caps and glaciers.
With growing population rates and such a small percentage of all the water on earth, it only makes sense that we must preserve and conserve this precious resource.
Water conservation means using our limited water supply wisely and caring for it properly. Since each of us depends on water to sustain life, it is our responsibility to learn more about water conservation and how we can help keep our sources pure and safe for generations to come.
Water Conservation: Why Save?
Our usable water supply is finite (we do not have an endless supply) which means that water conservation is not a job that is reserved solely for technicians, soil scientists, hydrologists, foresters, wildlife managers, plant scientists, city planners, park managers, farmers, ranchers, or mine owners — instead it is up to each and every one of us to save water. Some of the reasons we should work to conserve water include:
Conserving water minimizes the effects of drought and water shortages. By reducing the amount of water we use and waste, we can better help against future drought years. Even though our need for fresh water sources is always increasing (because of population and industry growth), the supply we have stays constant.
This is due to the fact that even though water eventually returns to Earth through the water cycle, it's not always returned to the same spot, or in the same quantity and quality.
Guards against rising costs and political conflict. Failing to conserve water can eventually lead to a lack of an adequate, healthy water supply, which can have drastic consequences in rising costs, reduced food supplies, health hazards and political conflict.
Helps to preserve our environment. Reducing our use of water reduces the energy required to process and deliver it to homes, business, farms and communities, which in turn helps to reduce pollution and conserve fuel resources.
Is available in the future for recreational purposes. It's not just swimming pools, spas and golf courses that we have to think about. Much of our freshwater resources are also used for beautifying our surroundings -- watering lawns, trees, flower, and vegetable gardens, as well as washing cars and filling public fountains at parks. Failing to conserve water now can mean losing out on such fun and beautiful uses later on.
Builds safe and beautiful communities. Firefighters, hospitals, gas stations, street cleaners, health clubs, gyms, and restaurants all require large amounts of water to provide services to the community.
Reducing our usage of water now means that these services can continue to be provided.
Water conservation requires forethought and effort, but every little bit helps, so don't think that what you do does not matter. We must all make changes in our lifestyles that will change the course of our water usage, conserve its quality and make conservation a way of life — not just something we think about once in a while.
Igor Shiklomanov's chapter "World fresh water resources" in Peter H. Gleick (editor), 1993, Water in Crisis: A Guide to the World's Fresh Water Resources (Oxford University Press, New York).
Did you know that your body weight is approximately 60 percent water? Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it's important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. The amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors, including the climate you live in, how physically active you are, and whether you're experiencing an illness or have any other health problems.
Water Protects Your Tissues, Spinal Cord, and Joints
Water does more than just quench your thirst and regulate your body's temperature; it also keeps the tissues in your body moist. You know how it feels when your eyes, nose, or mouth gets dry? Keeping your body hydrated helps it retain optimum levels of moisture in these sensitive areas, as well as in the blood, bones, and the brain. In addition, water helps protect the spinal cord, and it acts as a lubricant and cushion for your joints.
Water Helps Your Body Remove Waste
Adequate water intake enables your body to excrete waste through perspiration, urination, and defecation. The kidneys and liver use it to help flush out waste, as do your intestines. Water can also keep you from getting constipated by softening your stools and helping move the food you've eaten through your intestinal tract. However, it should be noted that there is no evidence to prove that increasing your fluid intake will cure constipation.
Water Aids in Digestion
Digestion starts with saliva, the basis of which is water. Digestion relies on enzymes that are found in saliva to help break down food and liquid and to dissolve minerals and other nutrients. Proper digestion makes minerals and nutrients more accessible to the body. Water is also necessary to help you digest soluble fiber. With the help of water, this fiber dissolves easily and benefits your bowel health by making well-formed, soft stools that are easy to pass.
Water Prevents You From Becoming Dehydrated
Your body loses fluids when you engage in vigorous exercise, sweat in high heat, or come down with a fever or contract an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhea. If you're losing fluids for any of these reasons, it's important to increase your fluid intake so that you can restore your body's natural hydration levels. Your doctor may also recommend that you drink more fluids to help treat other health conditions, like bladder infections and urinary tract stones. If you're pregnant or nursing, you may want to consult with your physician about your fluid intake because your body will be using more fluids than usual, especially if you're breastfeeding.
How Much Water Do You Need?
There's no hard and fast rule, and many individuals meet their daily hydration needs by simply drinking water when they're thirsty, according to a report on nutrient recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In fact, most people who are in good physical health get enough fluids by drinking water and other beverages when they're thirsty, and also by drinking a beverage with each of their meals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're not sure about your hydration level, look at your urine. If it's clear, you're in good shape. If it's dark, you're probably dehydrated.