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Access to water is a right- not a privilege

Lake CameronIsn't it beautiful? Don't you think everyone should have access to freshwater like that? How many of you have ever experienced water scarcity? The closest I have ever come is limiting when I can water my lawn or plants in the summer months. It is hard to believe that 884 million people lack access to safe water and supplies; approximately one in eight people.

Did you know that:

  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness
  • Women spend 200 million hours a day collecting water
  • More than 3x more people lack water than live in the United States
  • The majority of illness is caused by fecal matter infested water
  • More people have a mobile than a toilet

Makes you want to rethink your 10 minute shower that uses approximately 170 litres of water. That is more water than one person in a developing country uses in one single week.

Over 90% of the water we consume comes from the choices we make each day regarding what we eat, the clothing we wear, and the amount of electricity we use. The water we all consume leaves a footprint, one that can impact our local rivers and lakes, as well as those people living thousands and thousands of kilometres away.

  • 13 litres of water is needed to grown one tomato.
  • 30-35 litres of water is required to grow enough tea leaves for a single cup
  • 15,500 litres of  water is required to get a steak dinner on your plate. Most of the water consumed comes from the growth and production of the cow’s diet of forage and grains. The water footprint of a beef cow is 3.1 million litres over its lifespan.

Water scarcity is a global issue. Waiting to conserve when the situation becomes dire is most certainly not the way to approach this issue. We need to start conserving our precious resources now. We often take it for granted (myself included) the abundance of water we have here. We need to start using our water responsibly.

After watching Blue Gold, I think that if we continue polluting, diverting, pumping, and wasting our limited supply of fresh water at an exponential rate as our population and technology grows, we may very well end up in a war over water. Having a shortage of oil will be the least of our problems.

What will you do to reduce your water footrpint and keep our freshwater, just that fresh, for generations to come?

Let's make a difference one drop at a time!

Reader Interactions


  1. Good Girl Gone Green says

    I agree- say no to bottled water! So your lawn isn’t perfect- is it worth wasting water for? I personally do not think so. Get a bucket, collect some rain water and spray with that! Problem solved? 🙂 🙂

  2. Lori Popkewitz Alper says

    I admit I’m guilty of taking for granted the water we have here. I work hard with my children to teach them the value of water. We have a reverse osmosis water filtration system which uses quite a bit of water to produce the filtered water we end up drinking. We try to reuse any leftover water for plants or for our dogs water bowl.

    Our lawn is a disaster since I can’t bring myself to use the sprinklers to keep it hydrated. Every little bit helps!

    • Good Girl Gone Green says

      I didn’t know that the reverse osmosis filtration system used water to filter the water. Interesting. I think we are all guilty of taking water for granted. But I think you and I are probably doing a pretty good job compared to the average person. And, of course, every bit does help!!! Thanks, Lori!!

  3. Lisa @Retro Housewife Goes Green says

    The extreme drought in Oklahoma this past year made me think about water very differently. Not only did we have water restrictions, it was so hot the water lines kept bursting leaving people without water while it was well over 100 degrees! Two towns in Texas are without water, though hopefully the rains have helped. Most of Oklahoma and parts of Texas are finally out of the drought BUT our lakes and rivers are still low so we still need more.

  4. Sarah says

    The statistics about water scarcity are heart breaking. This year the focus was on water’s role in food scarcity. It is unbelievable how much water we are using to produce some foods, like beef. When I was a teenager I read that if every American ate a vegetarian diet for just one month, there would be enough leftover food and water for everyone else on the planet for the REST OF THE YEAR. That would one of the major precursors to me becoming a vegetarian.

  5. Tanya says

    Here in Florida, surrounded by water, people get crazy if restrictions are made. They don’t understand the process it would take to desalinize the water, and why should we need to, if we’d just conserve. We do our best, I teach my kiddos to turn off the faucets while washing/brushing, etc. We don’t water our yard, it’s natural instead. NO water bottles. Maybe if it cost more we’d take it more seriously? Thanks so much for posting this! The numbers really are remarkable.

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