Water Conservation Mythology 101
July 11, 2013
Five Myths About Water Conservation
You cannot always believe everything you read online-seems like everyone has an opinion these days. With this being the age of instant information, it often takes time and effort to discern between fact and opinions that "sound like facts." Water Conservation is no exception. Even as "Going Green" takes hold in the United States, sometimes over eager and mis-informed people make false claims or mistakes in an attempt to convince people there is no need to worry about conserving natural resources or scare folks into taking action to conserve.
Certainly arguments can be made for both sides, but people need the facts in order to determine where they may or may not stand on water conservation. Take a look at what we have determined are five myths of water conservation. After reading these, you should be able to form an educated opinion about this very important topic.
Myth No. 1: There Is No Water Crisis
Depending on what part of the world you reside, this may or may not seem like a true statement. Many believe that there is no threat of ever running out of water. Lack of water is more an issue of poverty or poor infra-structure. Like most of us reading this, we tend to take our clean running water for granted. Since we don't have a problem having access to it, there really isn't a problem….probably just another scare tactic the media throws out at society 8 billions times a day….
The fact is that there is truth in both arguments, the world is undoubtedly in drastic need of more effective water management. Statistics vary, but there are estimates that 1 out of 6 people on the planet do not have access to clean, sustainable water. That’s 1.1 billion people, and the number is growing as the global population increases and water supplies dwindle.
Myth No. 2: : The US Is Immune to Water Shortages
As mentioned in Myth No. 1, living in the United States comes with many privileges, and the one that we most often taken for granted is the seemingly endless supply of clean water: Just turn on the tap and it flows fresh and clear, at very little cost. Suburbia is covered in green lawns, kept so by automatic sprinkler systems.
This abundance, however, is the myth. Many states experience routine water shortages and are forced to implement strict drought restrictions during summer seasons, and other states like Arizona are facing potentially disastrous long-term water shortages. The average american has no idea states battle for water rights in the courts as the precious resource literally fall down the drain.
Myth No. 3: My Water-Use Choices Make No Difference
Again, this myth is perpetuated in the U.S. by low water costs and easy access; however, statistics that reflect collective action demonstrate time and again how America as a whole can make a difference when it comes to water conservation.
There are numerous examples that illustrate this concept. From turning off the tap while brushing your teeth to cutting down on the use of items that take large quantities of water to produce (paper, plastics, meat foodstuffs, etc.), there are so many ways to save water that they really do add up; so many, in fact, that even one person can make a measurable difference.
Myth No. 4: Water Scarcity Is a Third-World Problem
This myth is in part fueled by Myth #2 as well as by water’s comparatively low cost as a utility. The problem is that people are not yet asked to pay for the true value of water, which makes water conservation seem all the less important in developed nations.
Once upon a time, before the world would fully realize its importance following the Industrial Revolution, oil was also an undervalued commodity. Now, as the world population approaches 7 billion people, hydrologists, world leaders even investors are looking at water in a whole new light – as a quickly diminishing vital resource that will be the "hot button" in future global politics and finance.
Myth #5: Bottled Water Is Safer Than Tap Water
Marketing. Bottled Water. Marketing + Bottled Water = Genius. This is nothing more than crafty marketing, and is arguably one of the most damaging blows to water conservation in recent history. The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates bottled water quality, and the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates tap water quality, both have the same standards.
The real problem, however, is that bottled water takes so much more water to make, via the plastic bottles in which it comes, and that use is not offset even when the bottle is recycled. It is a no-win game that can’t be won unless you avoid drinking bottled water.
Think about it logically...doing something positive in the way of water conservation can be as easy as using a refillable bottle for drinking water, or taking shorter showers. You don’t have to change your life to change the downward spiral of the world’s water crisis. What will you do to make a change?
photo credit www.garrisonphoto.org