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Water Shortage Crisis

Updated on February 6, 2013

World Water Crisis Essay

I had written this essay for my english class and since then it had been just sitting on my flash drive. It has some helpful information that may help others researching this problem. For more information about the problem you can refer to my work cited page and explore further in-depth on your own behalf.


Global Water Crisis

When you step into the shower or take a bath do you think about water conservation? I am confident to say that most do not. The majority of us are usually focused on our daily routine and the possible curve balls life may throw us. Unfortunately for 1.1 billion people, their day consists of dehydration as well as fetching water for their families. Let us immerse ourselves into one of the largest global problems; the water shortage crisis.

Just two years ago I too was blind to the shortages of water. While I was deployed to Afghanistan, myself and the other Marines would have to shower with water bottles throughout the week. Ironically, we were the lucky ones privileged enough to obtain free water bottles. Underdeveloped countries like Afghanistan can only dream about having enough water to practice proper hygiene. You are considered well off if you have access to sanitized water. While standing post up on a roof top, I witnessed the mayor washing his feet with a bar of soap in a small bowl of water. This was the first time in the several months that I’ve seen anyone practice proper hygiene. Let us keep in mind that his status allowed him access to things the average citizen did not have. In America most U.S. citizens have access to a fresh water supply. But America’s infrastructure is aging giving way to rotting pipes. Every day 1.8 billion dollars in water is leaked every day. Back in 1993, the city of Milwaukee had an outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis. It is the largest waterborne disease outbreak within U.S. history. Feces had leaked successfully into aging pipes and efficiently passed through the city’s water treatment plant. As a result nearly 400,000 people contracted Cryptosporidiosis which causes nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. The contamination had taken the lives of more than 100 people. Third world countries have to deal with contamination every day (HIST).

Now that we realize just how big the water shortage crisis is we can now focus on solving the problem. You may ask yourself “If it is that easy to fix, then why hasn’t it been solved before?” More developed countries have come out with ways to conserve the water we use. This is usually seen through better technology, and creative innovation. In 1980 Australian, Bruce Thompson of Caroma Industries invented the first dual flush toilet. It works by using less water per flush for liquid waste, and the typical 1.6 gallons per flush for solid waste (Elliott). I hadn’t seen one, or heard of the design till two years ago. So does this mean that many American buildings are just that outdated? It is true that much of infrastructure had indeed been built years ago. One way to solve this is for the government to offer an incentive for building owners to switch to the eco-friendly toilets. Most companies and homeowners may not see the purchase of a new toilet as beneficial. With that, the government should impose a water limit per company and home. This limit could be based upon how many individuals inhabit the area per day, and what is its functionality. Those that go over their daily limit will be fined. This would result in a national impact to conserve water. As we can see from our many examples, America’s aging infrastructure is a contributing crisis to the water crisis. The water crisis could be averted by repairing aged pipes, and replacing old technology.

Roughly six thousand children die each day from disease associated with lack of access to fresh drinking water. It is estimated that by 2025, 5.3 billion people will suffer from water shortages (Blue Planet Network). It is no wonder why that it is a crisis, yet many remain blind to the shortages of water. It is easy to forget how this shortage affects us in America. If we want water we simply walk over to a sink or water fountain. We do not have to worry about contracting water borne illness. Did you know that water is a 400 billion dollar global industry; the third largest behind electricity and oil (Blue Planet Network). This industry will only get larger as the years progress and the supply of water shall dwindle. The life style you live will most likely determine how many gallons of water you use daily. In developing countries the average person uses 2.64 gallons, while in the U.K. the average amount is 35.6 gallons. The average American uses anywhere from 100 gallons to 175 gallons every day at home (Blue Planet Network).

As individuals we can help by conserving water by using the popularized terms “If its yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”, taking shorter showers, and doing less laundry. In some Spanish hotels they have a sign posted in their bathrooms asking guests to reuse towels to save energy and water. America, in my opinion is the greatest country on earth. Yet, we can all learn to practice similar methods from foreign countries to slow down the ever growing water shortage crisis.

Work Cited

The Crumbling of America. History Channel. HIST, n.p., Oct.-Nov. 2011. Television.

Elliott, Sara. “How Dual Flush Toilets Work .” How Stuff Works. N.p., 31 Dec. 2011. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.

“The Facts About The Global Drinking Water Crisis.” Blue Planet Network. Blue Planet Network, 2010. Web. 16 Oct. 2011.


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