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Make no mistake – there is a shortage of water. Conservative politicians will use some outdated, old-fashioned stats to bring it into doubt, but there’s no denying the obvious. People in Cape Town don’t have access to clean drinking H2O. And, that isn’t the kind of ‘I can’t take a long shower because of the drought’ problem we face in the West. When they turn on a faucet or go to a well, there is nothing to drink. South Africans are just the first people to face this issue and it will rapidly spread unless the world takes action.
Here’s what you can do to lend a helping hand.
Mix It Up
Water from the faucet is usually from a reservoir, whereas the best bottled water comes from springs. These are two sources of fresh H2O yet the levels around the world are dwindling. Why? It’s because people are relying on one method over the rest. Yes, bottles of water taste better and contain fewer chemicals, but the springs are running dry. Plus, the plastic container only adds to the pollution problem. As a rule, tap water is safe to drink even if it is a little tangy and full of fluoride. For people who find this to be a big issue, you can fit a filter to sift out the chemicals.
Save The Oceans
The seas are full of salt, which means they are undrinkable. Still, don’t assume what happens into the oceans doesn’t impact our water reserves. The truth is that plastic pollution and chemical waste is seeping into the sea and then into rivers and lakes. Considering some of our H2O comes from these places, it makes sense to save the oceans. The link has plenty of advice, yet the main point is to transition to a sustainable lifestyle.
A huge amount of water in the US isn’t for drinking; it’s for cosmetics. For instance, the average washing machine uses 41 gallons per load, which is a huge amount. Showers and running taps aren’t much better, either. The first thing to say is that there is no need to use machines to clean clothes and dishes. Hand washing is perfectly fine as long as you use detergent and softener. If you rely on industrial devices, try and keep them to a minimum. Only turn on the washer when there is a full load, and turn off the faucet to prevent wastage.
Use Social Media
A heartwarming story to come out of the Cape Town crisis was the role of social media. Thanks to people such as Talita van der Heever, the countdown to Day Zero has gone viral. Not only is the world aware of the problems, but people are coming up with creative and innovative solutions. And, they are doing it from around the globe, desperate to help their neighbours. A great example is the one where East London residents donated water.
We can solve it if we work together. The question is, are you ready to cut back?