Where does the water in our lives come from anyway?
Let’s go beyond the tap, past the pipes, and down to the main sources. Essentially, our water comes to us from these three major categories:
Surface Water: Oceans, lakes, rivers, and creeks. This is the water we see and love. We capture it using pumps and other systems to divert its flow.
Underground Water: This is the water that flows beneath our feet, in aquifers and other underground systems. Its captured by digging wells. Sometimes enough pressure will even push it to the surface, resulting in a natural spring.
Water From the Sky: This atmospheric water making its way down to the surface in the form of rain, snow, sleet, etc. It usually just collects on the surface of the Earth, either flowing into streams or slowly seeping down into underground reservoirs.
“World-wide practice of Conservation and the fair and continued access by all nations to the resources they need are the two indispensable foundations of continuous plenty and of permanent peace.” –Gifford Pinchot
By the Numbers
- Our world is covered in water, yet the freshwater that we have access to for farming, industry, and household use is less than 1%.
- 1.1 billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, lack adequate access to drinking water. 2.6 billion people, or 35%, lack basic water sanitation. Read more here.
- 185 gallons per person per day is the average water used in Austin, Texas. The national average is 80-100 gallons a day per person.
- Most of this water is used in flushing toilets, showers, baths, and yard maintenance.
Rainwater is renewable, high quality, and free!
We love everything about rainwater. From the way it sounds to the restoration of life, rain is cool!
It may not solve all the problems of our world, yet I think we should all take another look at how we can increase the practice of harvesting rain. In our cities today, we will no longer consider building a structure without proper plumbing. What if we installed systems to harvest rainwater on every building? Imagine the possibilities!
“Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.” -Ban Ki-moon