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Barrels, Buckets, and Bottles: Adventures in Low-Water Living

Barrels, Buckets, and Bottles: Adventures in Low-Water Living

water barrels / Public Domain / pxhere
WATER BARRELS / PUBLIC DOMAIN / PXHERE

Water is invisible to most people in developed countries.

We turn on the tap, and there it is.  It’s provided free in restaurants, without our even asking for it.

We can spend money to buy water in bottles, but in America at least, we’re never far from a water fountain.

There have been revelations recently of lead or other contaminants in water supplies, but still the concept of a universal “water supply” is rarely questioned.

Water for Granted

This easy access to water is not the case in many places on earth and was almost never the case in the past.  And it’s looking like it will not be the case in the future, as sea-level rise threatens fresh water supplies, energy resources are depleted, political systems lack the will or ability to maintain infrastructure, and climate change creates unpredictable rainfall and temperature patterns around the globe.

If our water systems collapse, or if we decide to simplify voluntarily, individuals and households may be surprised at the lifestyle changes that will be necessary.  What we own, how we use it, and even our domestic architecture will be affected.

This was something I had to learn during two years without running water in Liberia and seven years with erratic running water in Kyrgyzstan.  I offer my experiences in living without reliable water sources not because I’m the expert.

There are millions of people around the world who have managed their whole lives on a tiny fraction of the water we consider necessary.  But perhaps I can describe to you what living with unpredictable water is like and make it less daunting.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Vital Implications on Water Scarcity According to 14 Experts

Vital Implications on Water Scarcity According to 14 Experts

WATER DAM / UPSPLASH

With factors as precarious as climate, failing infrastructure, increased global population, pollution, and excessive groundwater pumping, it is no wonder that the concern for water scarcity has garnered the attention of authorities across many agencies and sectors.

And while those in developed countries might not experience the effects of the water crisis as imminently as those in more water-stressed regions of the world, the reality of water scarcity is ultimately a global concern and should certainly be treated as such.

Solutions such as demand management, culture and policy change, and improved infrastructure are practical and achievable – contrived through extensive research and collaboration. Because combating the global water crisis is such a complex issue, it requires a multi-pronged, multi-disciplinary approach.

Read our Related Article: 9 Viable Water Scarcity Solutions

In this article, we’ve asked water experts in the NGO, government, academic, and private sectors to share their candid opinions on water scarcity and to shed light on potential and practical solutions.

We’ve asked the question:

In your opinion, what are the main contributing factors to our current global water crisis and what actions do you believe are most crucial in mitigating it as best as humanly possible?

The following are their answers.

Causes and Solutions to the Global Water Crisis


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Read our related article: 10 Critical Water Scarcity Facts We Must Not Ignore


Democratize Access to Information


The main contributing reason is that public policy has failed to adequately address water scarcity, poor quality and lack of access of water for economic development, business growth, social well being and ecosystem health. We have framed this failure as the “Day Zero” which obscures the underlying issues of overallocation of water, lack of incentives for sustainable water use and the realization that the past is not a guide to the future.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

10 Critical Water Scarcity Facts We Must Not Ignore

10 Critical Water Scarcity Facts We Must Not Ignore

Why is water scarcity a legitimate concern?

It is true that the hydrologic cycle, the process in which the earth circulates water throughout its ecosystems, is a closed-loop cycle that neither adds nor takes away water. In theory, the amount of water on earth will always remain the same.

The problem therein is when the hydrologic cycle is disrupted and water which normally gets distributed to a certain area no longer does so. This is precisely why some regions are becoming arid while others are experiencing flooding and other natural disasters.

In this article, we’ll discuss the role that humans play in the global water crisis and we’ll cover the 10 most alarming water scarcity facts that we shouldn’t ignore.


The Alarming Human Factor in Water Management


Humans play a large role in the disruption of the hydrologic cycle.

  • The excessive building of dams prevents rivers from distributing mineral-rich water to areas that are dependent on the nutrients for plant growth.
  • Pollution caused by large factories can render freshwater sources such as lakes and rivers unusable.
  • The constant paving of roads seals the surface of the ground, preventing it from soaking up rainfall and replenishing the underground aquifers, a very vital part of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Excessive drilling into the ground can disrupt the structure of the bedrock, potentially allowing fresh groundwater to be contaminated with seawater.
  • Bottled water privatization creates a monopoly on a resource that should otherwise be available to the people who live in the region where the water is located.

As the world’s population increases the demand for the required amount of water necessary to sustain large communities does as well. While water is involved in the sustenance of virtually every aspect of a human’s life, the production of food makes up the majority of it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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