As the world warms, lawmakers need to enact meaningful water conservation policies.
When going to the bathroom and using the stalls, it’s the unspoken code of men to keep your eyes forward; no peeking. I fully subscribe to that code of conduct, so much that out of instinct – even with I’m in a public bathroom completely alone – I keep my eyes to myself; looking straight ahead, and aiming to aim with precision.
Recently, while in Washington, D.C., I used the bathroom on the bottom floor of the NEA’s ornate headquarters. As always, my eyes gravitated to the wall in front of me. But instead of counting the tiles on the wall as I usually would, I found myself reading a plaque that touted how committed to protecting the environment the facility was. I continued to read on and saw that the toilet I was providing drink to was completely waterless, saving on average 40,000 gallons of precious H2O.
I’m assuming no one else who used the bathroom that day was as excited as I was to see that sign, and that’s because most Americans are uneducated about climate change’s impact on our most valued resources – water being number one. Because of the warming world, evaporation is increasing, many times resulting in droughts.
According to article entitled “The Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources,”:
“The U.S. has been experiencing one of the most severe, multi-state, multi-year droughts in decades. In addition, rising temperatures are melting glacial ice at an unprecedented rate. Glaciers are an important source of freshwater worldwide, and some, like those at Glacier National Park, are in danger of disappearing within the 21st century. Once glaciers have melted away, they can’t be restored. Areas that previously depended on glaciers for freshwater will then have to seek other resources.”
What are other resources can people access and what role will cities have in assisting their fellow Earthlings?
The answers are varied, and I don’t have them all, just a few; and I’ll happily share. Here’s one for example; cities, like my hometown of Philadelphia, can pass legislation that mandates waterless toilets in all public buildings. Now I’m sure the first excuse from lawmakers is “we don’t have the money,” the second might be some bullsh*t about Plumber’s unions and the threat to public health, but all those obstacles can be overcome.
In terms of raising capital for necessary social projects, a number of cities – including the big apple – have begun using a unique financial instrument called Social Impact Bonds; also known as Pay for Success Bond. Many social innovators have great ideas to “future-proof” society, but their ventures are rarely funded because it’s too challenging – or almost impossible – to measure their effectiveness.
Social Impact Bonds, however, allows the government to partner with innovative service providers to solve the problem, usually leveraging foundation’s wealth for the upfront cost. Only if the idea is successful and reaches its desired outcome – for this case it may be saving 4 million gallons of water a year citywide – will taxpayers then have to cough up the loot, but by then they’ll see the value.
Part two of that idea, which East coast lawmakers in particular should consider, is one similar to building the Keystone Pipeline. Science has confirmed that climate change will cause more droughts in the Southwest and a wetter East coast. With the massive amount of H20 we’ll save from waterless toilets, coupled with the increased showers gifted by Mother Nature, we could erect a rainwater collection system along with a massive pipeline, and funnel/or sale the water to our friends in the Southwest.
We have a habit in America of complicating the most simple, common sense ideas. But for humanity’s sake, this one has to be strongly considered and not politicized. This idea is not about democratic or republican values, it’s simply about surviving on Earth. We have nowhere else to go, thus we need less politics and more progress. That’s my call to action: hear ye, hear ye!
Download Minding Climate Change: A Call to Action for more ideas on how to adapt to climate change using econology.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
Source: TBO Inc®
Photo: Rupert Ganzer/Flickr