Imagine the world without anger, without greed. We have the power, the tools, the skills and the resources right now to build a peaceful world, where people live in harmony with the Earth and each other. This blog explores ways we are doing just that, one post, one change, one day at a time. Join me. Tell your stories. Ask for help. Spread your ideas for making the vision real and, well, ordinary.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Did you shower today?

Lucky you. Lucky me. We can shower every day. Wash our clothes. Take a drink any time we want.
For now.

According to the New York Times, our easy access to water may soon be a luxury.

Thirty-six states face water shortages in just three short years. California knows all about water shortages. We've been getting some of our water from other states for decades. Farmers in the Central Valley, where much of the nation's food is grown, are going out of business, unable to get water to their crops.
California is not the only U.S. state with water supply issues. By 2013, at least 36 states expect shortages, according to a 2003 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Take a look at the world map on the water crisis page of the World Water Council. See all that red and brown on the United States? That means we're using water faster than the earth can replenish. Much faster. In fact, only a small portion of the United States is safe from running out of water.


That's why I participate in #WaterWednesday on Twitter. Every Wednesday, mindful Tweeps (people who tweet on Twitter) from all walks of life take time to learn a little more about the world water crisis and pass along what we learn.

We give each other tips on conserving water at home and work, participate in calls to action, write our senators and congressional representatives, blog about water rights and needs, and lend a helping hand any way we can. We try to have fun while we're focusing on water issues, and we're prepared for the heartbreaking stories (slide show) that bring the reality of the world's dwindling fresh water supply home. This brief video does a little of both.

New oil, blue gold and water wars

We don't hear about water wars every day, but they're happening--here at home between states, between cities and agriculture, bloodier ones abroad.

Some say water is the new oil. Global climate change is drying up the glaciers that feed our rivers and streams. Desertification caused by deforestation and agriculture exacerbates nature-caused droughts on every continent. Scarcity breeds greed. Greed breeds ever smaller circles of ownership and control over water resources. You know about the oil cartels. There is talk of water cartels.

Water is so valuable, as Wall Street tightens its grip on the world's shrinking water supply, that some are dubbing it blue gold. So important is water that, little known to you and me, Congress holds hearings on it frequently. You can bet that big corporations, with their multi-million dollar lobbyists, are making sure they get the deepest wells, the tallest fountains, and the biggest pipes.

Get a glimpse of what I'm talking about here.

If we are to build the world of Ordinary, we must take notice of the world of water now.

Do you love your shower?

Do you love your shower in the morning? You and I may be dead by the time the tap stops flowing in our country, but chances are good we'll see water rationing, including the taps in our homes, in the next decade. It's time to get involved. The question is, how?

I'd like to hear from you. Have you studied this issue? Are you concerned about your water rights now? Down the road? Who do you think should own water? Where do you think we, ordinary citizens, should start in terms of informing ourselves and taking action?
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.


SE'LAH... said...

I would not be surprised when water becomes a commodity - oh wait - it already is. Many places have water restrictions already. And water sources are being polluted everyday by mankind in pursuit of dollars. So...i pray.

andrea said...

Yikes. I am so good about recycling, composting, being green in so many areas of my life, but living where I do, in the land of rain where our tap water is the best in the world, both for taste and quality, I know what a water waster I am, but am trying to improve! I remember reading Dune when I was a teenager and trying to imagine living in a world where water was like gold.

Hayden said...

we've got water legislation pending now in MI. currently industry has limitations on taking water from rivers and lakes, but none on taking groundwater. Duhh. hopefully we get that gap plugged this year.

Apple Guy was almost salivating over my little patch of land. "If you just irrigate" - he said - I did not lecture, believing example is the only teacher. It's the organic matter in the soil that holds - and cleans water. Without organic matter, without the bacteria and fungus all filled with water - it just flows through and evaporates.

Easiest way to create a desert is to eliminate the organic content of soil. Humans have done it over and over again.... but we can reclaim it the same way. Plants create the atmosphere. Plants bring rain by breathing out moist air. Our water situation keeps getting worse not only because of industry - but because overall, our soil is dying at an incredible rate of speed.

What am I doing? Putting the organic matter back in my soil. I expect that having it there will get me through almost any Mi. version of a year w/ low rain.

Sharon L. Grace said...

I need to empty last night's glass of water that I didn't finish drinking into a watering can for plants instead of pouring it down the drain.

I need to put a large pan in the sink to capture the first minute of tap water I run to "clear the line" before I use it. Then I can use that water to wash dishes, mop the floor, water plants.

I need to stop flushing the toilet just so the person in the stall next to me will hear less of my business, and flush only when I'm finished.

I tend to think of the water crisis as bigger than what I do in my own household or at work. But it isn't. What I do, or don't do, does matter, and it can be part of what makes the difference.

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