The Journey of Every Drop
To understand why we need to use less water in our daily activities
it helps to first understand the basics of the where water comes from and goes; to understand the principles of the Water Cycle.
Like a wheel ever turning, the water cycle has no beginning and no end – it has been running its cycle since the start of time. This natural cycle means that water never actually goes away, it just changes form as it moves from sea, to air, to land.
The three basic stages are:
- Evaporation - when the sun heats up water and turns it into vapour or steam
- Condensation – when water vapour in the air gets cold and changes back into liquid, forming clouds
- Precipitation - when so much water has condensed that the air cannot hold it and the water falls back to earth
The sun drives the entire cycle and plays a role in the two major components of condensation and evaporation. As the sun shines on the oceans, water evaporates and forms clouds. As the clouds move higher and shift over land they cool; the water condenses and falls to the ground as rain, hail, sleet or snow, otherwise known as precipitation. Some of this precipitation is captured by tree tops and evaporates again into the atmosphere. The water that hits the ground becomes run-off, which can eventually accumulate and freeze into snow caps or glaciers. It can also infiltrate the ground, eventually storing in aquifers.However, of all this only 3 percent of the world's water supply is freshwater and 77 percent of that is frozen. Of the 23 percent that is not frozen, only a half a percent is available to supply every plant, animal and person on Earth with all the water they need to survive. Reference
So why do we need to use less water? The problem is not that the amount of water available is diminishing, but that the demand for it is steadily increasing as the world’s population grows. In addition, as a result of pollution, the amount of water that is is clean and safe for use is decreasing.
The extraction, treatment, distribution and disposal of water is expensive and effects the environment. Therefore, we all need to use water wisely. Start today by considering where you could use less in your home – You will be helping to protect this vital resource for generations to come.