In 2015, Cape Town, South Africa experienced one of the worst droughts in human history. It was predicted that the vibrant town would use up all of its fresh water by early 2018. While the residents of Cape Town have managed to adhere to strict water-saving methods and have continued to push back the inevitable “Day Zero”, experts still predict that within the next few years, Cape Town will be the first city in the world to completely use up its entire water supply.
While the individual effort to combat the world water crisis is imperative, it is not necessarily the most efficient way to conserve water and protect our natural resources. Only about 8% of the water we use is “wasted” on individual efforts such as flushing a toilet, doing dishes, watering the lawn, etc. Nearly 90% of the water available to humans is allocated to agriculture and industry, and these sectors are using water at dangerously unstable rates. The amount of water it takes to produce the things we consume on a daily basis is at the heart of our shrinking water supply.
Until communities, governments, and leaders begin to recognize and treat water as a fair and limited resource, the world will continue to run out of fresh water. Once we are out of water, there’s not much more to fight for.