Water conservation needs to become a way of life

[PHOTO COURTESY OF MRJN PHOTOGRAPHY ON UNSPLASH]

[PHOTO COURTESY OF MRJN PHOTOGRAPHY ON UNSPLASH]

During the summer of 2019, after stumbling across an article arguing the importance of saving water, I began to truly realize the significance of water conservation. 
Water is the most precious resource on this planet; without it, life on earth would cease to exist. We use water all the time, whether it is for agriculture, industrial or domestic purposes. Yet most people are under the impression that we have an endless water supply. After all, 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is made out of water. With this much water available to us, it would be impossible to run out, right? 
The truth is, only 2.5 percent of the earth’s water is freshwater, while the rest is saltwater. This means that only 2.5 percent of all water on earth can be directly used. Not only that, out of the 2.5 percent, less than 1 percent of the freshwater is accessible to us, as most of it is permanently frozen in glaciers and icebergs. 
After realizing how limited our water sources are, I felt shocked. It was absurd to me that most people, myself included, would ignore such an urgent problem that is in need of a solution, fast. I realized the issue was that most people simply do not know the limit to our water sources, and are not conscious about how much water we are using on a daily basis. 
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, an average American family uses 300 gallons of water per day at home. Globally, we consume about 4 trillion cubic meters of fresh water every year. 
These numbers are truly alarming. After realizing how limited our supply of freshwater is, I began to reflect on my own water usage. As someone who enjoys taking long showers and baths on a daily basis, whether it’s cold showers during the scorching summer or hot baths during chilly winters, I realize that I need to change my ways. 
Therefore, I decided to take on the challenge of saving as much water as I can. Starting small, I decided to set the goal of taking faster showers. It may surprise you that spending just one minute less in a shower per day could save an average of 1638 gallons of water each year.
According to the United States Geological Survey, showering is one of the most water consuming tasks in the household. Therefore, if we can all limit our time in the shower by a few minutes, we can save a significant amount of water over a period of time. 
The faucets also uses up an alarming amount of water. Taking up 17% of all water consuming household tasks. This may sound simple, but turning off the faucet when you are not using it, for example, while brushing your teeth, shaving, rinsing dishes, instead of letting it run needlessly could make a significant difference. 
Water conservation needs to become a way of life. Although it may seem that what you’re doing won’t make much of a difference to the world, impact comes in numbers. Saving water is the key to protecting human health, and our environment. It is up to all of us to take on the responsibility of using water with care.