An issue has been surfacing in the news lately, and the issue is water. Something that seems so natural and free is becoming rapidly less so. So significant is this stressor, that National Geographic dedicated an entire issue to the topic of water and our thirsty world (April, 2010). Newsweek Magazine also ran a cover story (October 2010) depicting corporate America’s desperate need for this valuable resource, calling water “The New Oil.” Here are some facts that will impact you now and the years to come:
• 97.5% of the earth’s water is salty, with only 2.5% of earth’s water considered fresh. 2/3’s of all fresh water is frozen
• Many US regions (e.g., Texas, Arizona, California) are draining underground aquifers quicker than they can be naturally restored.
• The demand for water increases with population, but the amount of water remains constant. Many fresh water streams contain hormones and antibiotics from prescription drugs flushed down toilets and agricultural run-off (petrochemical fertilizers, etc.) which is then consumed by the local citizens unknowingly.
• Americans use approximately 100 gallons of water at home each day (compared to 5 gallons/day in developing nations).
• It takes 2,500 gallons of water to make 1 pound of hamburger and 1,800 gallons to grow enough cotton for a pair of blue jeans.
• 1500 is the number of plastic water bottles consumed in 1 second in the US! Americans spent more money in 2010 on bottled water than on Ipods or movie tickets: $15 Billion.
• Clean water is a huge issue in China, so much so they tried (and failed) to license and export fresh water from the Great Lake Region in US and Canada. The Three-River Gorges reservoir in central China will tilt the earth’s axis by nearly an inch.
Stress Tip for the Day:
We, in America, have it pretty good for the most part, when compared to other parts of the world. Over half the world’s population does not have direct access to clean water (they have to walk miles to get it). Perhaps one of the first things you can do is stop buying water in plastic bottles, especially water transported from around the world, like Fiji. Please consider using a stainless steel water bottle to transport with you. The first step to simply to be more conscious about how you use this valuable and essential natural resource.
Links/Books/Movies Worth Noting:
NPR’s Fresh Air ran a program this week based on a new book called The Big Thirst. Here is the link, as well as some other links of interest:
Quote for the Day:
“There is no question that clean, affordable drinking water is essential to the health of our global community. But bottled water is not the answer in the developed world, nor does it solve problems for the 1.1 billion people who lack a secure water supply.” — Emily Arnold
Photo for the Day:
Today’s photo was taken in the Patagonia region of Chile where glaciers are melting rapidly. The Chilean Andes are said to hold vast amounts of fresh water, locked up in glaciers.
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.