Have a Drink on me!

‘Do you want a glass of water?’ Usually we offer our guests something to drink, when they come. Might it be water, tea, coffee or even lemonade, it’s all based on one source: water. I realized that I hardly ever waste a thought on water, as long as it comes clear out of the pipes, there is nothing to worry about. Also Germany has one of the best water-clearing systems; even our toilet water is drinkable. I assume it’s not only me, who often forgets that water is, as a matter of fact, a scarce resource and will replace the importance of oil in the near future.

 With a growing world population, it’s significance will raise tremendously. Take India for instance: it depends to 70-80% on water, but spends only 10% of its GDP on it. As a main result, rivers like the Ganges are terribly contaminated with fecal matters and the percentage of bacteria is 3000 times higher than considered save for bathing. 80% of all diseases are born in dirt water. Due to these circumstances many children are malnourished and die before they even turn six years old. But also farmers do their share. They plant water intense rice to maximize their harvest causing the water level to decrease every year. Most times you have to drill 100 meters deep to reach it.

We all contribute! Who of you can say: ‘I don’t buy my water in plastic bottles!’ We all do, since glass bottles are heavier and we all thrive for convenience. One of these little water bottles, containing .5 liter of water needs two liters to be made. Just imaging the water wastage all around the world and the water needed to recycle it.

We need water for everything, be it the drill of oil, our vegetables on the table or the backyard, hygiene, clothes…..the list would never end.

 Even though the earth’s surface is to 70% covered,  less than 1% is actually drinkable. Alone the US requires 323 billion galleons ( 1 galleon= 3.78 liters) of fresh water a day in 2000. You can calculate how much water your household uses and it’s scary for what we waste water. Me and my roommate use 16 galleons less than the average, but still do we honestly need to bath 4 times a week? One bath wastes 80 liters of water. calculate how much water you use.

 All in all we have to be aware what we do to the environment, because what goes around, comes around.


7 responses to “Have a Drink on me!

  1. Well written as always! And finally someone who draws the attention to that normally ignored or not realised problem!
    Good job girl!

  2. Elizabeth Morgan

    I often find myself thinking about what we would do if water weren’t as available. Would we bathe less? Would we actually turn off the water as we brush our teeth?? (our family does) I had no idea that the liter of water bottle actually takes many more to produce – that is why we use reusable bottles at our house and filtered tap water. Hopefully, if everyone does their part, we can have a positive effect on usage.

    • The good thing is, here in Germany we recycle bottles anyway, but I know it’s not very common in the US. It scares me to imagine that at some point there will be no water comming out of the tab. Hopefully we will still be able to change directions. What you described is a very good example how we all can do our share.

  3. Rebecca Parlakian

    I think there is such a huge communication piece here. It is hard for a typical suburban American family to relate to the polluted Ganges, as they water their own lawn for hours and hours across the month of August to preserve their green grass. What role can our government, media, and nonprofit bodies take to increase awareness of water conservation? And more importantly, what “motivators” (ie, higher rates on water usage) can be put in place to change consumer behavior?

    • I can see your point and I think we all do our share and waste water or other scarce resources. I assume as long as human are not confronted with a situation they don’t think too much about it. And if we’re lucky it won’t affect us, but then the later generation and nobody of us wants our children or grnadchildren to go through such a terrible situation. When I was in San Diego I read a phrase: ‘Treat earth well, it was not given to you by your parents. It was lent to you by your children.’
      We should always remember that.

  4. I’m glad that you bringthis topic up, Anna. I think you are right that we all waste a lot … not only water. My question just would be – what/who would guarantee that, if we would just be a little bit more careful in our daily actions, the not wasted resources would actually land in the hdands/countries where they are actually needed? Food for thought (also for me).

    • This can’t be guaranteed at the moment, I was more or less thinking we have to be more considerate with scarce resources to prevent ‘us’ or parts of the country to become a ‘second’ India.

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