This National Geographic site focuses on fresh water initiatives in hopes of preserving what’s left of the Earth’s freshwater. As we know, we roughly have about 0.3% of usable freshwater. Today, humans use water from the ground, rivers, and other freshwater streams to supply water to cities, farms, and factories. Rivers and other fresh bodies of water carve shipping routes around the globe, and supply us with food and recreation. However, these rivers and lakes are slowly becoming scarce. National Geographic focuses on the Colorado River which was once winding 1,470 miles (2.366 kilometers) from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California’s Sea of Cortez back when it was plentiful. Nowadays, the water level barely reaches the full circle.
The biggest problem these fresh bodies of water face is the manipulation WE do to them. For instance, chemical fertilizers and animal waste sprouting from agricultural lands and residential areas which are swept into local streams, rivers, and other bodies of water. This type of surface runoff eventually lead to what we drink today and even the ocean. The result: polluted drinking water sources and the decline of aquatic species, in addition to coastal dead zones caused by these contaminants. Not to mention, the other dam initiatives which end up displacing thousands of people worldwide in hopes of obtaining and “keeping” more water.
Through this website, National Geographic suggests a way for us to reduce our water footprint with a pledge. So far, there have been 7,624 pledges and a total of 1,398,030 gallons of water pledged through this initiative.
Feel free to take the water footprint test to see if you are using more than the average person in the United States. We might believe that we use the most amount of water through flushing, but nearly 95 percent of our water footprint is hidden in the food we eat, energy we use, products we buy, and services we rely on (such as transportation). As a college student at UR, I am currently using 5% of your water footprint alone through everyday processes such as showers, laundry, etc. The average American relies on nearly 670 gallons of water a day just for electricity production in order to produce food. Why not take a look at how your local conservation efforts connects to the preservation of rivers and wetlands globally. Small changes can lead to big and effective changes for the future.
Click here for the TEST and see how much water you can save by changing your way of life: