i-heart-waterH2O. It covers 71% of the planet’s surface, yet there is less than one third of 1% of it that is not frozen and available for use by every living organism on Earth that lives outside its saltwater oceans. We recognize that fresh, clean water is precious on


Water is life, nothing less, one of those things that, without which, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

For all the square cubic miles of salty sea water, however, there are only buckets of fresh water by comparison, to be divided between every blade of grass, every zebra, lion, redwood tree, hummingbird, hippo, wheat farm, catfish and human being in the world, and there’s not always enough to go around.

Most of our water goes to the agriculture that sustains our growing population of 8 billion and counting. A tiny trickle in the scheme of things goes to humans for drinking and sanitation.

750 people million have no access to clean water, while a whopping 2.5 billion lack adequate sanitation. What can be done? Agriculture can be made far more water-efficient, for one thing, with some exciting new technologies that are emerging. Aqueducts, pipelines, desalinization plants and sanitation facilities can also be built and maintained.

Water management is the life and death issue of the immediate future. No matter how high a level of technology we achieve, or how wealthy any nation becomes, without water we die in just a few days. On National Water Day, let’s think of ways to change how we mistreat our precious water.

•Suggested Activities: Waste not.

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