Good Quality Water is Dissapearing
No, we’re not wearing beanies with propellers on them and predicting the end of the World. Rather we want to point out that in the US and other fully developed nations, the ability to obtain good quality water directly from nature is rapidly disappearing. The era of overusing and polluting one of nature’s greatest gifts is rapidly coming to an end.
Just this week we heard of dried up wells 40 miles inland from the ocean in what is called San Diego East County. Gorgeous area with small farms and large estates with room to raise horses and live the good life. The good life and property values come to a halt with no water available. A day later we heard from a South Dakota rancher raising beef cattle who keeps adding deeper and deeper wells and is most recently pumping water that is so loaded with minerals that it cannot be used by cattle nor will it support crops.
In a world where some poor souls must walk miles to get drinking and cooking water and consume 1 or 2 gallons daily per person, we use on average 60 gallons per day per person in our US homes. That’s direct use excluding wasteful lawn watering. Our indirect water use is scary. Counting feed and processing water use take a look at the following table to see water consumption for what we eat:
- One slice bread: 11 gallons
- One apple: 18 gallons
- One egg: 53 gallons
- One chocolate bar: 297 gallons
- One pound chicken: 468 gallons
- One pound beef: 1,799 gallons
What’s The Answer?
At the food production end, spray watering and field flooding has to be replaced with drip irrigation and plants must be modified to be more drought tolerant. In food processing water reuse should be paramount. For individual homes people should voluntarily treat their water with equipment that saves water and use water consuming products that are more efficient and in general practice conservation. If it’s not done on a voluntary basis it eventually be imposed by higher water rates, volume controlled meters and restrictions on drilling wells. Our decision— cut back and use wisely or have bureaucrats dictate to us.