Of course it’s a given that we, as humans, require water to live; we are 70% water and, H20 is in a very literal way the source of all life on earth. We pump water, we filter it, we soften it, all to sustain our own need to survive. Filtering and softening water is a huge business and deciding what water softener or filter to buy can be confusing.
Unfortunately, we are constantly loosing water:
Most people feel a distinct “thirstiness” after loosing 1% of their natural body fluids, but once 10% of these fluids are gone, people risk serious bodily damage or even death. This is a pretty small margin of error—if we were unable to get our hands on something clean to drink between the 1% where we notice we need water, and the 10% where we die from it, we, and ultimately our entire species would eventually die out.
Of course this is all fairly basic biology, and it’s not an extremely hard concept to grasp; so why is this important?
Here’s the deal:
Although, in an elementary way, water = life, many societies now, and throughout history, haven’t acted as if water was this amazing, sustaining gift. In fact, almost all civilizations and nations throughout the history of the Earth have drastically devalued the worth of water.
This is due in part to the fact that water, in most places that life has flourished, is available in quantities far greater than that which is necessary to sustain life. Water is abundant.
And by no small margin.
Current estimates suggest that every year, 9000 cubic meters of water per person are made available through natural processes such as evaporation, and normal weather patterns, and that’s not even counting filtration or water softening.
Great, so what’s the catch?
The problem with this devaluation of water is that it’s unsustainable. Between projected population explosion and consumption and developing of many natural resources, that number (9000 cubic meters of water per person per year) is rapidly dropping. It is projected that by 2025, only 5100 cubic meters of water will be useable per person every year—the immediate reaction is that we may need more water filters and/or water treatment.
This is an insanely sharp drop, but we don’t need to freak out… yet.
Even though fresh water availability will be reduced by almost half, it’s still much greater than what we absolutely need, if we manage water consumption smartly. The amount of water available per person per year should be more than enough to support the theoretical population maximum of the earth if it were divided equally among all humans, and distributed though less pollution-prone channels.
That being said, we’re not out of the woods yet.
The idea that natural water production is at least enough if not more than enough to match human growth is in a lot of ways a fairy tale. It assumes we have systems in place to make use of all that water, and simply put, we don’t.
Water is made usable by natural processes, yes, but it often is lacking in the exact region or location we want to use it, and (literally) overflowing in places we don’t. This leads to many civilizations and nations pumping out precious ground water and natural aquifers faster than they can be replenished.
The necessity is to clean up our act when it comes to water distribution is a must. It’s a complex problem, but it is within out power to resolve.