Every year World Water Day, observed on March 22, helps bring attention to the global issue surrounding the water crisis. Water is one of our most important natural resources and the amount of industries that rely on water to operate their businesses is endless. But as we face climate change, water conservation is important now more than ever.
According to organizations like the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the issues surrounding climate change will greatly affect the energy water nexus. Because of this, we need to take steps to significantly conserve and increase efficiency in an effort to lessen the impact on the environment. Education certainly plays a key role in this process. As most people, more than likely, do not know that it requires more fresh water, on average, to generate electricity then the total amount of fresh water we use in our homes everyday. And did you know that it takes 63 gallons of water to produce just ONE gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel? In 2016, the daily average of gasoline consumed in the U.S. was 391.73 million gallons. So in terms of water usage, it takes over 24 billion gallons of water just to produce a days worth of gasoline. That’s an extremely disconcerting fact.
As noted by the ACEEE, efforts to save water save energy, and efforts to save energy save water. One solution to help the energy water nexus is by using solar energy. Solar energy takes ZERO gallons of fresh water to generate energy. We must stop relying on oil and gas as an energy provider and turn to our natural energy resources, as they are essential to conserving our fresh water and reducing our carbon footprint.
This is especially necessary as the population continues to grow in the U.S. and globally. We need to save our fresh water for human consumption and agriculture. Unfortunately, the water crisis will not go away if we don’t think about it. We need to be proactive as human beings by conserving and changing our ways. We owe it to humanity and future generations to not take fresh water for granted as we are fast approaching the day when water may be gone. And this may not be as far off as we think as evidence today shows that lakes from around the world are shrinking or disappearing.