Water is crucial

With so many problems in our world today such as war and government corruption, sometimes the problems that are most vital to our well-being are forgotten. The WEB urges our readers to not forget how important and precious clean water is. Water has always been a cheap and easily accessible resource in America. This is obviously beneficial, but it has also made us lose track of how precious fresh water really is. NASA and the World Health Organization report that 4 billion people will face water shortages by 2050. In America, we often disregard calls for water conservation as something that only affects poverty stricken people such as those in Africa. The fact is, we will soon be in severe need of water ourselves. The Colorado River acts as a frightening example. Once a mighty river stretching from northern Colorado to the Gulf of California, it no longer reaches the ocean. Also, during the dry months, the Rio Grande disappears from its bed for over 100 miles. Every year these rivers dry up more and more. The problem is disregarded as unimportant by many in the area, but experts say that the Southwest could be facing serious water shortages by 2025. Conserving water is not only good for the environment and ultimately our health, but also for our wallets. Moving, treating, and heating water takes a large amount of electrical energy. Less electrical energy use directly correlates to lower utility bills. In Iowa we should be concerned as ethanol has become so popular. Ethanol plants can consume over a million gallons of water per day. Although this is not a huge amount on a statewide level, the water needs to come from somewhere. Ultimately it could result in wells and pumps having to be lowered. This would be a large cost to the state or to local residents with personal wells. It is not hard to save water at home. Monolake.org says that only watering your lawn when necessary can save up to 1,500 gallons a month. Running only full dishwasher and washing machine loads can save over 750 gallons a month and a two minute reduction in shower time can save up to 700 gallons a month. While we can make a big difference by just paying attention at home, it is industry that uses the majority of our clean water. Government mandates may help but awareness may be the most important thing. New efficient systems can make a large scale difference and new technology to help this problem may be the answer, but the research for these new systems needs our support as a society. Water is an invaluable resource that is often overlooked. The problems that may stem from overuse of clean water may rival the problems that we face from global warming. The WEB urges everyone to do their part and to not forget the importance of water conservation.