The Quality of Water and Life

By  | May 2, 2010 | 0 Comments | Filed under: uncategorized

Every form of life has an effect on the environment; however we as humans have the ability to ‘reason’ and as a result, we are well aware that many of the choices we make negatively affect the natural order of our surroundings. All life relies on the environment for survival, but it is through our unique human qualities that we shoulder the heavy responsibility as its keepers.

Are we stumbling under that burden?

Environmental issues have always interested me, and with all the hot discussions on The Advocate over the last few weeks regarding drinking water, I decided to do a little reading on the realities of the water crisis, which we are suffering … globally, and how this really affects you and I.

What I have learned is that the intensity of this crisis is growing exponentially along with the human population. Today, water is the most threatened resource on our planet. The experts say that despite the fact that 70% of our earth’s surface is covered in water, only 1% of that is readily available to us for our daily needs. No matter how technologically advanced, we do not have the ability to create one more drop of water than there already exists. We will also, never find a substitute; even for the sake of our own survival.

Our poor earth, we have burdened her with our overpopulation, along with our proclivities to industrialize… agriculturalize, and let’s not forget, to waste. We need to be aware that everything we do eventually affects our water. The substances and chemicals we use and dispose of daily are turning up in our lakes, our rivers and our oceans in disastrous concentrations and mixtures.

Is it any wonder that, that precious 1% is a source of so much discussion these days?

Today, there are some 80 countries – globally – that are under ‘water stress’, affecting up to 4 billion people. Water is the single largest source of health problems, as 80% of all sicknesses in the world are caused by unsafe water and sanitation. As the increase in our global population over the next decade is predicted to be 3 billion, our world’s governments are now starting to wake up to the fact that water may one day initiate wars. Some say no, but I would imagine this outcome would depend on how we manage – or mismanage – our dwindling fresh water supplies.

Canada is said to be one of the highest water users – per person – on this earth. This is obviously due to the fact that 7% of the world’s renewable freshwater (of that 1% available) is right here in Canada; readily accessible to all of us; many of whom in turn, have taken it for granted for far too many years.

But is that tide of indifference changing?

I believe it is; and it is being made obvious right here on The Advocate.

Is our water quality as good as we can make it? Are our government’s guidelines and objectives reasonable? Should we be dealing with maximum allowable concentrations or should we be straining every resource to get those concentrations to the minimum, and still continue our fight to eradicate all harmful contaminants completely? What about that cumulative affect?

Should we really be accepting anything short of the goal of ‘no contaminants’?

No … of course not.

In the light of those a world away, struggling for every drinkable drop, we owe it to them, as well as ourselves and the dependant forms of life around us, to protect our water (in any form, for any purpose) with all our abilities. Quantity means nothing without quality, so if it necessitates constant pressures from the public on their elected politicians to challenge that collective concept of our drinking water as ‘this is as good as it gets’… then so be it. To say nothing is to accept the inevitable.

Jacques Cousteau once complained of the human race, saying that:
~We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one~

So…is our drinking water really as good as it gets?
Don’t bet your lives on it.




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