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Drinking Water, A Non-Renewable Resource

Updated on June 28, 2015
Don't Push It
Don't Push It | Source

Running Out of Water, Are We?

For centuries, nobody was worried about nature’s renewable and ever-present resources, like coal, oil, wood, and now, water. Only now?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have heard about people and champions of the written word begging for, and complaining about the lack of, potable drinking water in all parts of the world. And now it is finally at a head? Let’s list a few facts.

Source

Planning For the Future

Proponents of forward thinking have been talking about greywater usage and rain barrel water collection for decades. As a matter of fact, I grew up with using rain barrels for the garden, so that is nothing new. That was just logical thinking, and many of us lived in the country where we didn’t have to pay for water to come out of the tap.

My nextdoor neighbor did her dishes in a plastic dishpan, and when she was done, she watered her flowers with the greywater. On a larger scale, if one was able to afford a washer, this wastewater was also used for something else, like the garden or for flushing toilets. When we went camping, we boiled the water from a stream and we drank it. There was no such thing as bottled water.

Do We Need to Act on Drinking Water for the Future ASAP?

See results
Global Water Footprint
Global Water Footprint | Source

Should We Look to the Past for a Solution?

With the advent of time, money-making schemes like bottled water came into existence, which was wonderful for those people on the go, because they didn’t know what they were drinking elsewhere, or they wanted hydration while on a long walk, but a thermos could be used for the same thing.

What I am getting at right now, is that in order to conserve and save our water in the future, we must tighten our belts, and look to the past for a solution. After all, since 2002, Nestle has some kind of deal going with the Morongo tribe of Mission Indians to pump water from the Millard Canyon aquifer in the most parched area of the state. Nobody knows the details on what is going on in the reservation, as it is done through tribal law. But, it would be a part of a solution to a water problem, even though the rights were sold to the tribe in the early part of the 21st century. My question is by whom and where did that right come from?

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Adjust Those Priorities in a Growing World

With global warming, we are living with rising sea levels, and many palavers all over the world have been talking about desalination for at least thirty years that I know about. Where have we come with the cost factor and the viability? Is it in the same pot of stew as curing cancer and heart disease? Do we need to adjust our priorities?

I grew up in a very small town and during those days, sewage went right into Dyer’s Bay. Believe it or not, it made its way into the same coastal water fifteen years ago, as well, until a few laws were finally enacted against it. In 2015, I also understand that the populous area around the Nile’s river delta is going through the same thing. What are we thinking?

Seeding Clouds
Seeding Clouds | Source

Solutions at a Glance

The pressure is also on for growing more and more food for the ever-increasing population of the world. Where is the agricultural cancer-causing glyphosphate insecticide going when it rains? You guessed it, right into our drinking water.

Also, another water waste problem is leaking pipes, like those toilets that constantly run and the water that travels down the streets directly into the sewer from the broken pipes that should be watering the grass. I see it on a daily basis as I walk to work.

Seeding clouds in order to make it rain was done in the past, with a great deal of success. I’d like to know what happened with that.

Will We Stand the Test of Time?

So, you see, these are not problems that are new. These things should have been considered a century ago, and where have we come since then? It appears to be a necessity to plan for the future, not throw up your hands now, and say, “What are we going to do?”

You were just given the solutions that also are not new. Let’s implement them, not put them further on down the drawing board, while our government is allowing Big Oil to now drill in the Chukchi Sea. But I shall discuss that another time.

© 2015 Deb Hirt

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for sharing, Peggy, and the fact that you are acquainted with saving water. So many people don't even think about it. This might bring a few more people into the realm of what really is happening.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      When my grandfather built the house for my grandmother back in the early part of the 20th century, a collection system was built in the roof which then collected the water in a big tank in the basement of the house. That water was used to wash clothes, flush toilets, etc. Collected rainwater also watered gardens. In an area with enough annual rainfall, this made perfect sense.

      We use a thermos instead of buying bottled water. We need to get serious about this water shortage issue. As you mentioned...thoughts on this subject are hardly new. Sharing this good hub of yours.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Scribenet. I am doing my best to reach as many people as I can regarding more progressive thinking in several arenas.

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I hear reports of cities drying up rivers in careless use of water. Eventually there has to be problems of all sorts. Your ideas for recycling water are spot on, however , many people feel that is too much to do because they think water is a limitless resource. Water is essential to life and future generations will suffer from our abuse of this precious resource. Great Hub!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sadly, Larry, we are. What will we do next?

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very compelling and scary. Most important thing to survival: air. We're junking that up. 2nd most important thing to survival: water. We're fouling that up too.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Correct, Lawrence, every change will have its own problems. Bacteria is excellent, and reproduces at astounding rates, which is why it is proving to be successful. However, mutations will and do occur, and some things can be worse than others. Agreed that the Aswan Dam began as a good thing, but due to changing lifestyles and issues, it has turned more negative than positive, BUT time will tell how things pan out for them. Rainwater is filtered rather well through the ground, but due to Monsanto/Dow/Syngenta fertilizer, it has been picked up a lot of negative aspects, with half lives a lot longer than any of us care to think. Perhaps we will see our way clear, or at least I hope so.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Deb

      Another thought provoking hub. As I was reading it I realized that there's actually a lot going in to try and deal with the situation but the main problem is no matter what we do someone else always complains!

      Egypt built the Aswan high dam in the 1960's to ensure electricity and water supply but in doing they lost their supply of fertilizer (the annual innundations of the Nile). Now they pay tens of millions for something that used to be free!

      Some of the latest innovations in recycling water involve Bacteria specifically developed for dealing with harmful chemicals and so far the results look good but its still early days.

      As for recycling grey water when rain falls and isn't collected it runs into the storm drains and directly into the rivers, this isn't a problem as its rainwater and more pure than tapwater!

      Any other water goes into sewer pipes and goes through treatment plants before being re-introduced into the system. Treating sewage is where the real costs lie and this is where the new technology using bacteria is making big gains.

      We can all do our bit to change things but lets realize every change has its own issues as well.

      Lawrence

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for dropping by Frank, and I'll gladly share a glass of the reverse osmosis liquid with you at any time.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      another one of your touch the subject type hub.. makes me rethink period.. a great share my friend :)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Jackie, that was the way t was in a simpler life, before pesticides, oil spills, and contaminated water from fracking and development. I remember how it used to be, too, be we also witnessed DDT, Agent Orange, etc. I think if we let technology lie in certain areas, we would not be seeing the problems that we are now...

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Something I never hear anyone mention and I wonder if not a big fault of our water shortages is not allowing water to go back into the ground. Look at all the water that goes into sewage and then treated and whatever they do to it where if it was left as it was to soak into the ground and clean itself naturally and be evaporated back into the atmosphere might that have been the best way? Now someone wouldn't have made millions of dollars and poisoned our water so I guess that is why no one mentions that.

      Of course I know that can't be the problem everywhere but it has to set things off balance.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Dave! I've heard that you get a lot of rain there, but alas, with it comes the seeds of unscrupulous behavior. Glad that you think it made sense to do this story.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 2 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Deb,another excellent article making important environmental topics to the attention of readers. Here in the UK a land of plenty rain we have been paying for our water for many many years. it has now become a larger percentage of peoples income. Well done for bringing these issues to the fore.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I always try to do my part, Alicia. Now all we have to do is get the Peace Corps out there somewhere to teach people what they need to know in order to make this workable...

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another hub about a very important topic, Deb. Thanks once again for raising awareness.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I know what you mean, poetryman. We had a lot of rain around here during early June, and it went out the dam of the lake, into a stream. Unknown where it went from there, or even if it did. There's still plenty of water in the lake, and it does smell so fresh and clean. Lots of birds and butterflies should be on the way now...

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      It's raining now here in Vista not far from San Diego. If I thought about how much of this water is going to waste I would weep. I guess the sky is doing that for us all.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Lots of work to do, and so little time pstraubie. There really ARE desalinization plants, yet the Third World is suffering so.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      So so so important...it is a scary thought to consider what may happen if this issue and soon

      I have heard about desalinizing water for years and years too...and yet....we wait.

      Voted up++++

      Angels are on the way to you ps

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      poetryman, I like the way that you think. Potash is also excellent for the garden, and when you say aggressively, you're right on target. Then there will never be any need for bottled water again. It really irks me that people are paying for water, a basic necessity of life that all should have for free. Naturally, this is within reason.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Given things like solar stills and saltwater greenhouses the ocean could provide us us with all the water we would ever need with zero carbon impact. As for the salt water slurry that comes out of the process, the potash drying ponds of the Moab desert in Utah seem to indicate that the slurry could be converted to a valuable resource.

      In the short run we need to aggressively manage the ground water so that not a drop of runoff ever reaches the sea. And we need to recycle all water from toilet to tap and capture and reuse all industrial, agricultural and residential runoff.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Mary! Share the details with everyone that you know, and let's see if the Peace Corps will go out and help the poor folks in the developing countries, too. It's only right!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      We have been spoiled by the "abundance" of everything. The abundance that is now running out. As you've so aptly pointed out, our ancestors were more conservative than we have become and used water to it's fullest.

      We waste so much and water is right up there. If we don't do something soon, Nevada won't be the only state without enough water!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, manatita. Sometimes more rain doesn't help, as it just runs off the ground and into the street where it does nothing. Let's hope that we can get help for the people that really need it. If we teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for the rest of his life

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Yes, there is a real problem in some places, and a shortage too. Yet we waste so much!! Let's hope that the rain keep on falling.

      About the oil you are so right. Greed is a big negative to the Earth in human life. Great awareness Hub. Much Peace.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      EXACTLY, midget. We can no longer wait. These are the things that the Peace Corps and other organizations teach people how to improve their basic necessities. I'd try sending them a message on their web site to see if they can help the people that need it, so they in turn, can teach others. Clean water should not have to be a rare commodity. It is a fundamental right to life.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Where the hose comes out of the washer, attach it to the tub so it won't come off while it is pumping out the water.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      If we do not bother about our water...it soon becomes scaece.The funny thing about humans is that by the time they bother, it's too late!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Deb, how do I run the water from the washer into a tub? I have no idea how to do that. I picture my laundry room flooding!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Billy, it was staring us in the face for a long time, just like chemicals leaching into the soil.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks for sharing this, ChitrangadaSharan, as the more that we conserve, the better we will be in the long run.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Save the water in a tub or barrel from the washer, Sha, and flush the toilet with it. You technically cannot drain anything into the soil, especially if you have a downgrade and it flows into your neighbor's yard. I think the toilet wins.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This is one of those things that many people figure will last forever, so why not use, use, use it.....nice job of pointing out that there's trouble in River City and we need to wake up to that trouble. :)

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very important topic that everyone must be concerned, While some parts of the World are already experiencing scarcity of Potable and safe drinking water, if something concrete is not done in this direction, others may also experience the same situation, sooner or later.

      Rain water harvesting is widely being followed in many parts of India.

      Great thought provoking and informative hub! Thanks and voted up. Pinning on my environment board!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Deb, it's disheartening to know that dollars are overriding sense in this matter. A few years ago I was having major septic problems. My ex-husband re-routed our washing machine to drain outside the house, which made perfect sense to me. The gray water went into the ground/soil instead of my septic tank. I was fined for doing so and ordered to restore the drainage to empty into the septic tank. Now I have to have the tank pumped more often because my drain field has been compromised by tree roots. I can't afford $6,000 for a new drain field right now. Doesn't it make more sense financially and ecologically to direct the gray water into the soil? Yes, it does. But then the septic company would lose revenue. It really irks me that my town doesn't allow gray water to serve a better purpose.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's right, thumbi7! I only gave a small sample of what we need to do, now it is up to world relief organizations. That's what they are there for. No more passing the buck, and ignoring the cries of those that cannot even get basic needs. It is a world problem, and must be handled by the world.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Cris, I thank you for the examples from some of the world. Everyone deserves clean water, and they need to know how to achieve it. If nothing else, the UN needs to make a presence and do something about it, as well as all the other places, like every national relief organization on this list https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_development_... Thanks for sharing this, as it is a big reason why we must all put our differences aside and work for world unity. It is all about survival.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 2 years ago from India

      Need of the hour. We should really look into and assess ourselves how many liters of water are wasted everyday in households while cleaning and other household works. We should develop mechanisms to conserve water; otherwise our children will be the sufferers

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very significant topic to discuss about. I was in the Philippines last month and while I was enjoying it there, I realized how blessed I am to be living in Canada where water is clean and potable fresh from the tap. They didn't have clean water back there and people have to buy it in containers. Some houses are equipped with filters but supply is not that much abundant compared here. In Bahrain, where I've lived for many years as well, water is precious and rather expensive than the cost of petrol but at least, it is clean.

      Regardless, I still believed that water should be free, bottled, filtered or what have you. :)

      With the context of your hub, it seems that the under-developed countries will have to suffer more in the future and this is why we need to educate the people about it. So, I'm sharing your hub to spread the words.

      Love from the sky~

      P.S. I stopped buying bottled water long ago. I carry my own container filled with tap water. :)

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly, John. The powers that be cover up everything and don't get concerned until it is nearly too late. Funny how you were told to dispose of your water collection materials(shaking head).

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great hub Deb on a very important issue. I live in the driest continent on Earth so I know the importance of conserving water, even though it looks like our country is one of the highest users per capita. In a number of cities and towns here most houses had water tanks and rain barrels then councils decided that water may be unsafe and made people remove them...recently because of severe water shortage

      A few years ago they encouraged everyone to reinstall them...go figure. We only have tank water where I live and use filters in our water bottles etc. We have 5 minute maximum showers and catch the water from that to wash clothes and water the plants...recycle every drop. There are a couple of desalination plants in the country but it is still a very expensive way of creating drinking water. A few towns have introduced water recycling programs to provide water for everything except drinking. In this country we get most of the rainfall in the far north where much is lost to run-off, and very little in the south. There have been numerous discussions as to how to divert the water from the north to the south where it is needed. Lack of water is a world wide problem and needs to be addressed. We always take action after the fact instead of being pro-active.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, whonu!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Actually, Suhail, we will ALL suffer regarding water. It's about time that we help each other get on the same page. I think with al the controversy against different races is a warning call, and the sooner that we listen, the better. We MUST stop being against each other and combine our knowledge for the betterment of humanity/

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Absolutely, Jackie. There are so many good petition sites, like Food and Water Watch.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Faith Reaper! Plastic has its uses, just not really around foodstuffs, as it leaches into it. Glad to hear that we are on the same page, but I figured that. All is well on the lake and its good inhabitants.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      Nice work my friend and well presented, whonu.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Very informative article, Deb!

      It was almost 30 years ago that I had completed a class project on designing a solar desalination plant for clean drinking water. I think that method may now be old and there could be better ways that may be employed for having clean drinking water. Another project that I did during graduate studies was on dams. Now dams may have other environmental issue associated with them, but I saw them as solution.

      Also, it is projected that the next major wars will be fought among countries around water resources. I can see that coming. I think those countries which haven't planned for developing water resources or are at the receiving end of upstream countries are going to face major problems.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      So true Deb; we need to open our eyes and start speaking out!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Deb,

      Interesting post here this day. I do think we should look back at how water was conserved back in the day and learn how to stop wasting so much of it.

      We don't use bottled water at all, but have purchased a water filter for drinking water and I just take a thermos to work or wherever I need to go. Saves a lot of money plus the plastic is not good for us at all, especially after being stored in hot trucks and elsewhere waiting to be purchased. It releases chemicals into the water that is bottled from the plastic.

      I hope you are enjoying a lovely Sunday up there on Boomer Lake.

      Blessings