What do you do when you want a drink?

If you're anything like us, you go to the tap and fill a glass with nice, clean water. It's clear, it's cold, and it's abundant. And if you don't finish it, why not just pour the rest down the kitchen sink?

Well, not everybody lives like this. In fact, of all the water on Earth, less than 3% is fresh and less than 0.03% is usable. Does that sound like enough to sustain a lifestyle like ours with 7,000,000,000 humans and 6,500,000 different species of land animals?

That's because it can't.

Did you know there is the same amount of water on Earth today was there was when the planet was formed? That means that there's never going to be more. Let's represent this with a math problem: if Lucy and Bob have one apple, how much will they each get? Half? Ok, now what if Lucy and Bob share the apple with their 7,000,000,000 friends? How much of the apple will each person get then? So when we have a fixed-amount resource and a growing population, eventually everybody's going to get less.

Scientists are predicting water shortages in the western world within our lifetimes. That's right, it's no longer a problem for future generations. We are the future generation. Like everything in life, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer; that means the people in third-world countries will get even less clean water than they do now (and believe us, that's not much) and the people who can afford it will take (and waste) even more.

Until it's gone.

Now, as far as resources go, fresh water is pretty renewable. All you have to do it not pollute it, waste it, or turn it into salt water. But our cultural and societal habits prevent ecological conservation from happening and promote its abuse (pooping in clean water, anyone?). Waste of water is all around us, from leaky faucets to long showers to watering lawns to making clothing. Countless dollars are spent on energy for treated misused water. Across the ocean people die from dehydration. Something's gotta give.

Manitoba is called the land of 100,000 lakes, so it probably doesn't seem like a big deal to us. We can't imagine a day where we couldn't go to the tap and fill a glass with nice, clean water. After all, in Canada water costs less than one cent per liter. But if we don't take the steps to conserve water, we can expect that price to skyrocket and for big governments around the globe to suddenly cast a leering eye on this "Land of 100,000 Lakes". Think of the wars and injustices that happen over oil, and we don't even need the stuff to survive!

In order to protect our health, safety, and well-being, water conservation needs to happen. Our world depends on it. We depend on it. Do your part and protect water for a sustainable future.


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