By Lucía Fernandez Buitrago
If the water runs out, life ends, the fish falls asleep, the bird laments, the river dries up, bodies die, everything is lost; if the water runs out, no more footpath for the children, no more flowers in the gardens, no more happy picnic days by the lake. If the water runs out, barbarism revives, the earth dries up, living beings become extinct.
Despite seeing this unfortunate reality in the media day after day, reading announcements of foundations that protect natural resources, hearing in every corner that water is vital, seeing images of dehydrated children and documentaries of entities aimed at responsible use of this precious liquid, people keep wasting it!
Here are the top 5 reasons why the planet's water is running out:
1) The planet's groundwater is running out
It is not yet possible to establish exactly how long there are reserves for. The blue planet is losing its color, it is losing its vital liquid. The water cries and dries up in its deep lament, leaving in its wake the record of the acts committed by humanity, the irrationality with which it is used and the indolence with which it is contaminated.
According to one study, 13 of the 37 largest aquifers on the planet, studied between 2003 and 2013, are depleting, receiving little or no recharge. Eight of them are in the stress category, with almost no natural replenishment to compensate for use.
This research, led by the University of California Irvine, in the United States, also revealed that "significant segments of the Earth's population are consuming groundwater quickly and without knowing when it might run out." On just one of them, the most stressed of all, the Arabian Aquifer System, 60 million people depend, the researchers reported.
2) Irrational use of water by people
Although 70 percent of the world's surface is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh, while the remaining 97.5 percent is salt water. Also, almost 70 percent of fresh water is frozen in glaciers, and most of the rest is presented as moisture in the soil, or lies in inaccessible deep underground aquifers. Not even 1 percent of the planet's freshwater reserves are available for consumption and this will increase by 40 percent in the coming years, reported the magazine Solo Ciencia.
However, man is not aware of the water he uses (and wastes): when you take a bath for 15 to 20 minutes, you are wasting 200 liters of water, of which about 150 liters are wasted. 6 liters of water are thrown away a day waiting for the water to get hot. When brushing your teeth, you use 7 liters of water of which 6.5 liters are wasted. When you pull the toilet lever, up to 20 liters of water are wasted per day. If you leave the tap running with a small drip, up to 30 liters of water per day can be wasted. These are just a few examples.
3) Uncontrolled tourism and illegal dumping of liquid waste
Lake Baikal (Russia), the largest freshwater reserve in the world, is being polluted even by the surrounding spas, in whose wastewater pathogenic bacteria have been detected. The most famous tributary of the lake is the Selengá River, but more than 300 rivers and streams also flow into its waters.
4) The usurpation of the waters
Every year, fleets of air, sea and land transportation, as well as thousands of kilometers of pipelines and pipelines, load many tons of minerals, also wood, oil, gas, agro-industrial products, agrofuels and many other raw materials. To extract and transport all these “products”, more and more lands must be hoarded and contaminated, which means that the water –in constant movement and rooted in the territories– is increasingly cornered, uprooted, overexploited and contaminated.
5) Human activities pollute and deplete freshwater ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems are the habitat of more than 40 percent of the world's fish species. According to National Geographic, these are suffering a lot of damage due to the activities of man.
“More than 20 percent of the 10,000 known species of freshwater fish have become extinct or threatened in recent decades. The basins, which collect the rainfall and channel it into streams and lakes, are very vulnerable to contamination ”, they affirm from the specialized site.
The water cries, heartbroken and devastated, beaten to its vital core, underestimated and outraged, if true awareness is not taken, the situation of this precious resource will be tragic and the future of our children will be disastrous. As the Aguadiosa song says: "I am tears that when I cry are rained with feeling, from the tree I bring lament when life is taken from it, I am the destroyed jungle, I am the river turned deserted and the cry of a people killed by excessive ambition" .
Photo: Human activities pollute and deplete freshwater ecosystems. (Nick Koudis)
The Epoch Times