While 2/3 of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, if you were to fill a one gallon jug with water, pour out everything but the last two drops, those two drops would be all the fresh water in the icepacks on the tops of mountains, in the rivers across the globe, in every rainstorm happening all at once across the planet.
It sounds like a lot of water, but as we are increasingly seeing worldwide, water is not distributed evenly, and more importantly, not used exclusively for Human consumption. In fact, the greatest uses of water take place in agribusiness (farming, commercial animal production and computer manufacturing).
Every industry, every form of manufacturing, almost all cooking, all bottling, canning or food production requires water. From the moment it leaves the farm, until the moment it reaches your supermarket shelves. Since we’re in the market, I want you to visualize your favorite supermarket just after opening, when every shelf is packed with products.
Think about everything you see in your average supermarket. There is almost nothing in that market which can exist without the use of water in the manufacturing, production or distribution of that product. Even the packaging requires water to acquire, produce, clean or refine the paper, plastic, glass and metals which make up all packaging.
Multiply this by thousands of markets and a host of companies, and you can see the water use adding up fast. Water use which is draining the once mighty Colorado river dry by the time it reaches Mexico.
Underwater aquifers are drying up with millions of gallons of water per day are drained away and unable to be replenished because of our cities which sit on top of those sites and send all that fresh water out to the ocean in our storm drains.
In some cities such as Cape Cod and Mexico City, protocols for conservation are being enacted, programs whose names have included terms such as Zero Day; the day when the water supplies in aquifers, in reservoirs and in local rivers no longer provide enough water to get water to residents in their city. Zero Day means the day when a city stops being a city and descends into something else.
There are twenty cities around the globe who are already facing similar countdowns with the one in Cape Cod having been narrowly averted thanks to rain filling reservoirs. But setting the countdown time back only to 2019…
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